But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.” Luke 18:13 NABRE
Jesus recognizes in those listening to Him some believe they are righteous and despise those who are not. There are always people who think they are more righteous than others, and though they may not recognize it, sound arrogant, this is not worthy of a follower of Jesus. Jesus tells a parable of a Pharisee and a tax collector in the temple. The Pharisee stands in the front and in prayer speaks about all the good he has done, all the sacrifices he makes for God, and thanks God for making him who he is and not like the tax collector. Meanwhile the tax collector stands in the back and his prayer is for mercy because he is aware he is a sinner. Jesus points to the tax collector indicating he has humbled himself and he will be exulted by God. As for the Pharisee he is already exulted in his own mind and goes home thinking he is justified. It is likely the Pharisee has a few surprises in his future. For Jesus, humility is an important attribute, it is stepping back and understanding without God we have nothing. Jesus wants followers to know their dependence is on God. They don’t have earthly attachments of things or pride, and they depend on God for all they have in life.
Those who are humble are able to show God to others through their life. Those who think they are justified only show themselves with false success and declaring self-glory. Jesus knows God gives glory to those who are aware all glory comes from God. Be humble, let pride go, let attachments go, let the need to be glorified go, so that God may fill you with his glory and exult you before others.
How do you approach prayer? What is you posture before God?Be humble, let pride go, let attachments go, let the need to be glorified go, so that God may fill you with his glory and exult you before others. Click To Tweet
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