Luke 18:9 ¶ He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt:
Luke 18:10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
Luke 18:11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ’God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
Luke 18:12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’
Luke 18:13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’
Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Today this parable would apply to the guy you know that won’t come to church because he’s afraid the roof will fall in on him as soon as he goes in the door. More and more, especially during a global pandemic, there are fewer people darkening the doors of churches.
But they still need the Lord!
The thing is, this tax collector actually made it to the temple to pray. He came because he knew he needed something and he obviously wanted something. The Pharisees that trusted in their own self-righteousness didn’t welcome the poor guy. They used him as an example of how righteous they were!
Think that through for a second. A broken, humble person came to their church, and the regulars there used him as an example of how holy they were.
Isn’t that heartbreaking?
May we be so humble as the saint sitting in the parking lot while his wife goes to church. May we be so humble as the person that pulls into the parking lot and then drives away from shame.
May we be so humble so that we can be friends with others, and share with them the salvation we’ve found in the un-shaming Jesus.
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