What Jesus Did! 'Religious Arrogance Is the Target' — Luke 18:9

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

There were some people that thought that they were very good. These people acted like they were better than other people. Jesus used this story to teach them:
— Luke 18:9
Illustration of Luke 18:9 — There were some people that thought that they were very good. These people acted like they were better than other people. Jesus used this story to teach them:

Key Thought

Jesus' most scathing rebukes are reserved for those who are outwardly very religiously, but who are arrogant, self-righteous, and feel superior to everyone else. Once again, Jesus illustrates his point with a story so his disciples will not only know the truth of his message, but so they also can visualize what this religious arrogance looks like and can remember to avoid it in their own lives. Before we examine this story of Jesus, we should look at ourselves and ask, "What is the basis of our confidence?" Is it in comparing ourselves to others? Is it in our own works of righteousness? Or is it in God's grace and mercy shown us in Jesus?

Today's Prayer

Father, thank you for saving me, a sinner, who cannot live up to your standards of character, righteousness, and holiness. Thank you for making a way for your grace to reach me and bring me into your family as your child. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

There were some people that thought that they were very good. These people acted like they were better than other people. Jesus used this story to teach them: "One time there was a Pharisee and a tax collector. One day they both went to the temple to pray. The Pharisee stood alone, away from the tax collector. When the Pharisee prayed, he said, 'O God, I thank you that I am not as bad as other people. I am not like men that steal, cheat, or do the sin of adultery. I thank you that I am better than this tax collector. {I am good;} I fast twice a week, and I give one-tenth of everything I earn!' "The tax collector stood alone too. But when he prayed, he would not even look up to heaven. The tax collector felt very humble before God. He said, 'O God, have mercy on me. I am a sinner!' I tell you, when this man finished his prayer and went home, he was right with God. But the Pharisee, who felt that he was better than other people, was not right with God. Every person that makes himself important will be made humble. But the person that makes himself humble will be made important."

Luke 18:9-14

Related Scripture Readings

And I suffer now because I tell that Good News. But I am not ashamed. I know the One (Jesus) that I have believed. I am sure that he is able to protect the things that he has trusted me with until that Day. Follow the true teachings you heard from me. Follow those teachings with the faith and love we have in Christ Jesus. Those teachings are an example {that shows you what you should teach}. Protect the truth that you were given. Protect those things with the help of the Holy Spirit. That Holy Spirit lives inside us. You know that every person in the country of Asia has left me. Even Phygelus and Hermogenes have left me. I pray that the Lord will show mercy to the family of Onesiphorus. Many times Onesiphorus encouraged me. He was not ashamed that I was in prison. No. He was not ashamed. When he came to Rome, he looked and looked for me until he found me.

2 Timothy 1:12-17

In the past, your spiritual lives were dead because of your sins and the things you did wrong against God. Yes, in the past you lived doing those sins. You lived the way the world lives. You followed the ruler of the evil powers over the earth. That same spirit is now working in those people who refuse to obey God. In the past, all of us lived like those people. We lived trying to please our sinful selves. We did all the things our bodies and minds wanted. We were {evil} people. We should have suffered God's anger because of the way we were. We were the same as all other people. But God's mercy is very great, and God loved us very much. We were {spiritually} dead. We were dead because of the things we did wrong against God. But God gave us new life with Christ. You have been saved by God's grace (kindness). And God raised us up with Christ and gave us a seat with him in the heavenly places. God did this for us who are in Christ Jesus. God did this so that for all future time he could show the very great riches of his grace. God shows that grace by being kind to us in Christ Jesus. I mean that you are saved by grace. And you got that grace by believing. You did not save yourselves. It was a gift from God. No! You are not saved by the things you have done. So no person can boast {that he saved himself}. God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would do good things. God had already planned those good things for us. God had planned for us to live our lives doing those good things.

Ephesians 2:1-10

So the person that thinks he is standing strong should be careful that he doesn't fall.

1 Corinthians 10:12

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.