Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

Luke 18:9-14.

9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 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. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 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!’ 14 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.”

Our Lord told this parable to explain about how God justifies and not what man wants to believe in his own interpretation of justification. Here the acceptable attitude of approaching the throne of God for mercy or salvation is given. Though the characters mentioned in the parable were a Pharisee and a Tax Collector, it could very well be just about two persons. (To mention Pharisee may distract one from the truth in this parable to side track to argue on legalism and grace.) So I will refer to the Tax Collector as Person A and the Pharisee as Person B.

Here we read that Person A approached the throne of God with poverty of spirit and godly sorrow for his sinful condition by beating his breast and would not even lift up his eyes to heaven. He acknowledged his sins and was repentant in seeking God’s forgiveness for his sins. Luke 18:13.

The hyper grace believer behaves exactly like the Person B here – he did not believe in the confession of sins and repentance. He felt no godly sorrow for his sins. He approached the throne with richness in spirit rather than poverty in spirit. He could not see his spiritual bankruptcy. He was so confident that his understanding of justification was right but sadly, he was mistaken.

Our Lord said that Person A was justified and not Person B. Luke 18:14.

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