He then addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. Luke 18:9 NABRE
Jesus tells a parable about two people going to the temple to pray. One a religious leader prays with a very big ego, who in his prayer tells God all the good he thinks he is doing and points at others with no humility, glad he is not like them. The other man is someone disliked by all the Jews who humbly prays, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.” This is the prayer Jesus highlights as received warmly by God. The first man is praying so others see him, and realize how important he is (in his own mind.) The other prays as Jesus teaches, go quietly to your room and pray where only God sees and hears. God knows we are all needy and weak and to pray as if we are in charge is not welcome. God looks to those with humility who know they need and depend on God. It is what is in the heart that matters to God.
Jesus tells this parable to those who are convinced of their own righteousness. He also mentions those who are despised by others, meaning those who act like they know it all, those who like to tell others how to behave and declare themselves wonderful. Jesus is directly telling these people to recognize they are sinners, and they should seek God’s mercy. Whether we believe we are righteous or always right we should have a humble approach to life. We should let others know they are special and important, to God and you. Lift others up and pray for them. If we live as if we are righteous there is little God can do to help us. Allow space in your life for God’s will.
How do you pray? What is your stature standing before God?
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