2017 08 20 Gill Khoury The Pharisee and the Publican

2017 08 20 Gill Khoury The Pharisee and the Publican
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Create DateAugust 30, 2017
Last UpdatedAugust 30, 2017

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The Pharisee and the Publican

Luke 18:9-14 New International Version (NIV)

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Hero Villain Story: Characters are reversed


Describes two ways of approaching God  self righteousness and humility


Pharisee uses horizontal comparisons with other people to make him feel good. His prayer is about himself. Exalts himself

We can do the same, we look down on people who don’t meet an arbitrary standard that we set.


Or we can compare ourselves with others, feel bad and then decide how good we are based on what other people do.

We actually don’t have the capacity to judge ourselves against others

1 Corinthians 10:12New International Version (NIV)

12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!


Publican is different: uses a vertical comparison, realizes he has nothing to bring to the table. Begs for mercy.

Exalts God and is justified


Psalm 51[a]For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God,according to your unfailing love;

according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.

Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight;

so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.

Surely I was sinful at birth,sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;

you taught me wisdom in that secret place.




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