Just look at the beginning of Luke 18:9. Read verse 9. Read it again. Jesus is speaking to a crowd of people and this is the description that we are told about the crowd: “He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt.” This gives us a great description of who Jesus was addressing with this parable. I think it is easy for Christians to read this verse, skip over the beginning and jump right into the parable and believe that we are the tax collector who is humble. I addressed this in Part 1, but I want to bring it up again because it is such a big issue, and it can be seen in the description.
Many Christians today are people who trust in themselves and believe they are righteous, and without thinking twice about it treat others poorly and with contempt. Many Christians go to church once and week and put on the smile for the greeter or maybe they do their “required” monthly service project since that is what God wants us to do or they are involved in everything their church offers throughout the week in order to be the model Christian, etc. The list could go one of who we are. The painful truth is that many people who call themselves Christians are exactly who Jesus describes in verse 9. They think that they are ok, but they not. How many of us give until it hurts? How many of us go out of our ways to show love for our neighbors, friends or strangers? How many of us truly understand & appreciate our salvation so that we passionately love Christ first, then love His people?
Sadly, many people believe that their actions will lead them to their salvation, but in reality it is the other way around. Our salvation through Christ Jesus will lead us to act out our faith in Him. When we fall into the trap that we think there is a minimum requirement to keep our faith by doing X each week, we are wrong in thinking this. Read verse 9 again. Is Jesus describing you at the beginning of the parable?