Bristol, Virginia

Two Standing

There is a parable found in Luke 18. In the parable two men went to the temple to pray. The first was a Pharisee (religious leader of the day).

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’” (vv. 11-12)

The other man was a tax collector.

And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’” (v.13)

Which of the two do you think walked away justified? Jesus gives us the answer: “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (v.14)

While reading this the Lord showed me the modern version. Some believers today walk in pride with their relationship with God, as if it wasn’t grace all along that they stand in. They look down on others who seem (seem!) less spiritual. They are religious (fast twice a week) and even give tithe. They frequent church and Bible studies. But out of the two the tax collector was the only one to touch God’s heart. “God, be merciful to me a sinner!

Now, notice in the text they were both “standing.” The Pharisee was standing on his own works. The tax collector was standing in God’s mercy. But let’s be clear only one was standing on solid ground, even if it was from afar. Now, we can approach the throne of grace with boldness. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16)

There may be more of the Pharisee in us then we would like to admit. But the Lord is ready to root it out.

Father of mercy thank you for Your lovingkindness. Forgive me for being like the Pharisee, trusting in my own good works. I declare that I am nothing apart from Your grace. I stand in Your Mercy and I boldly approach Your throne of grace. In Jesus’ name. image credit:

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