Luke 18v9-14

Luke 18v9-14

Luke 18v9-14

The Jesus told this story to some who had great self-confidence and scorned everyone else:

Two men wen to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a dishonest tax collector. The proud Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else, especially like that tax collector over there! For, I never cheat, I don’t sin, I don’t commit adultery, I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.

But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’

I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. Fo the proud will be humbled but the humble will be honored.

Jesus told this story to some people…in hopes that they would learn a lesson…

It is important for us to grasp what is happening here. Jesus sees a certain behavioral pattern, perhaps one he has witnessed multiple times, and then he launches into a teaching moment.

For us to learn from this moment, we must look at the

  1. Behavior
  2. The Story
  3. The conclusion

 

From there, we can make an informed application to out lives.

The Behavior

Catch the language.

Luke 18v9

The Jesus told this story to some who had great self-confidence and scorned everyone else:

They were very self confident Is that wrong?

Let’s consider what self confidence is. True self-confidence is a state of knowing a given ability and learning to depend on a certain set of strengths and skills.

-This knowledge is gained through the consistent pursuit of a goal, seeing regular results.
-This knowledge is generally founded rooted in truth. We are most often confident in what we know and are familiar with.

From this angle, self confidence is the natural byproduct of becoming excellent at something. It is connected to the prosperity on hard work.

If the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, “growing brighter and brighter,” than we should expect this confidence to come into our lives.

Yet, in the greek, the phrase is that they, “trusted in themselves that they were righteous.”
They had strength, and they were really proud of their abilities from these strengths. Yet, they failed to understand that our strengths are merely gifts we have learned to use well.

The Story

Luke 18v9

“great self confidence and scorned everyone else”

The root word for scorned is, “contempt for another, to make of no account, non-existent.”
In essence, these with self confidence were looking down on others. The connected idea is that they were allowing their sense of confidence to inform a sense of superiority over others. Whom? Everyone.

The connected idea is anyone who did not measure up to their standard. Look at the language in the story:

Luke 18v10-13

Two men wen to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a dishonest tax collector. The proud Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else, especially like that tax collector over there! For, I never cheat, I don’t sin, I don’t commit adultery, I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.

But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’

The Conclusion

Luke 18v14

I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For the proud will be humbled but the humble will be honored.

There isn’t much to add to this. Jesus targets pride and drops a bomb. Pride and self exaltation invites humbling. Humility invites honor.

The word for humble means to, “be brought low.”

The word for proud, means to elevate oneself above.

It is a pretty core human issue Jesus is dealing with. And I think it is a massive continuum.The original teaching was aimed at those who had begun to put their confidence in themselves.

So for us, the principle is:

When I fail to see my strengths in the light of His grace, I am set up for a critical comparative spirit. That spirit leads me to judgment of others.

A judgmental spirit is arrogance and draws humbling into my life.

Humility is understanding that my strength is from Him. If my strength is from Him, my dependance for that strength is on Him. That life draws honor from heaven.

Why did Jesus teach this?

Because this is the nature of the human condition. We long to find our value by being better than others. The answer is that we learn to be sons and daughters of our Father, living for His glory, His honor, without concern for if we are better. That lifestyle causes us to see others through the lens of grace, realizing they are in process, on a journey with Him. We become encouragers of the broken instead of didactic itemizers of the fallen.



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