- Luke 18:9-14
- Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
The parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector is “old hat” to most members of the church, yet one that needs to be dawned afresh. Within this parable the Lord emphasized attitudes of worship, self-justification, true justification, and forgiveness by means of comparison and contrast. Though Israel had engaged in worship before God for centuries, many had forgotten the purpose of both their worship and religion. May the words of this parable serve as a reminder to the church, and may the people of God avoid the pitfalls of the old covenant people.