The Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:10-25) Commentary


The Pharisee was arrogant enough to believe he was not a sinner. He thought his performance of religious duties was enough. He brags about himself to God, saying “Look God, look at what I have done! I fast, I tithe!”  God disregards such self-glorification. Cain went to God with his offering, believing that it was all his hard work that mattered. God didn’t favor his offering, because it wasn’t his heart.  Pride is the lie Satan puts in our hearts. We may be too quick to look around at others and believe ourselves to be so much better than everyone else. Perhaps we think our “little” sins don’t compare to the “bigger” sins of others. Maybe we are outwardly righteous by going to church and giving to charity, but inside our hearts don’t belong to God. Jesus tells us to look at the tax collector, who openly admits he is sinner, and in humility begs God for forgivness. Without the gift of grace who are we?  We all fall short of God’s glory, no matter how much we tithe or fast or give. Thank God that He gave all sinners mercy through his son. It is the attitude of the Pharisee that claims it has no need for Christ, no need for mercy. It is the attitude fo the Tax Collector which proclaims the need and acceptance of mercy in Jesus Christ.

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