In Luke 18, Jesus shares a parable with some people that are described as being “some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt.” Here is Jesus’ parable from Luke 18:10-14:“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up 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, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
When reading this passage of Scripture, who do you identify with most? I think it is easy for us all to want to say that we identify most with the tax collector, but when we really get down to it, we are truly a combination between the Pharisee and tax collector, or just the Pharisee all around. As Christians, how do we pray to God? How do we treat others? How do we act when others are watching? How do we act when others are not watching?
This week I want to look at Luke 18 and a few other passages, and look at how, as Christians, we act towards God and how we act towards others, believers or not.