Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thank God I am Not Like Them!

In yesterday's post, which was actually about the post the day before that, I mentioned something about being a Pharisee. Here is what I meant...

  To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable:

Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
 
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”


Now if you are like me, then immediately after reading this parable you think to yourself something like,

"Thank God I am not like the Pharisee."

Which in turn makes you exactly like the Pharisee.

It's the brilliance of the parable. The minute we identify with the tax collector (and we always identify ourselves with a character in the story) is the minute we become like the Pharisee.

The minute I thank God that I am nothing like "those people"... I, in some way, become just like "those people."

God have mercy on me a sinner.

Grace and Peace,

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