THE PHARISEE AND THE PUBLICAN (Continued)
Scripture Reading: Luke 18:9-14
9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Jesus addressed this parable to certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others. Jesus employed two main characters. One was a Pharisee and the other a publican. As previously mentioned, the Pharisees was self-exalted and represented the epitome of mixture. They picture the religious system that works against the spirit of man and thrives in the Adamic realm that bolsters Law. The other character was a publican. The publicans or tax collectors were famous for their shady dealings such as extortion and despised by most.
According to the parable, these two went up to the temple to pray. There are several things to take note of in the Pharisee’s prayer. First, is his posture. He stood and prayed with himself! How lofty! So far there is no reverence for God but let us continue. He then begins with thanksgiving of what he is not. In his heart, he believes that he is without sin and goes on to list a few sinful deeds most of which contrasted the other character, the publican. The illusion of self-righteousness is that apart from Christ there is no sin.