Luke 18: 9-14
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
In today’s present world, it seems that what is wrong is right and that what is right is wrong. This appears to be true in Jesus’ day also. Both men went to pray–one at the temple and the other stood at a distance. The Pharisee, who focused on himself, felt justified because of who he was and what he had done. The tax collector, who knew he was guilty of sin and unworthy to even look toward heaven, humbly asked God for mercy. There is none righteous, not even one. We all deserve punishment for our sins. There is nothing we can accomplish that can remove our guilt of sin except the blood sacrifice of Jesus the Christ. Always be humble in pray, acknowledge who God is, ask for his mercy of forgiveness, make your requests known to him for others, and know he will exalt you when the time is right.
Father help us to never forget that when we deserved judgement, you gave us your love and grace through your son, Jesus the Christ. Help us to always pray, to be humble and to bring glory and honor to you and not to ourselves. Help us to show the same love and grace that you have shown to us to all that we meet. We humbly ask in Jesus’ name, amen.