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Two Men, Vast Differences - Luke 18:10-14

"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." (ERV) Full Text

Key Thought

The difference between these two men was great, but not for the reason the Pharisee thought. No, the difference between these two men was not their outward actions or words, but their hearts. One of these men, the sinner, knew he needed mercy, forgiveness, and grace. The other, the outwardly religious guy, thought he deserved to be honored by God. In fact, only one of these men knew about grace; that was the poor and forgiven man. Jesus reminds us that our faith isn't about religiously pretentious games, but about our humble response to the God who has given us everything in Christ.


Today's Prayer

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Father, forgive me for I am a sinner. 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 (ERV)

 

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


 
What Jesus Did
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Brothers and sisters, a person in your group might do something wrong. You people who are spiritual should go to the person who is sinning. You should help to make him right again. You should do this in a gentle way. But be careful! You might be tempted to sin, too. Help each other with your troubles. When you do this, you truly obey the law of Christ. If a person thinks that he is important when he is really not important, he is only fooling himself. A person should not compare himself with other people. Each person should judge his own actions. Then he can be proud for what he himself has done. Each person must accept his own responsibility.Galatians 6:1-5 (ERV)

If a person is proud, then he is in danger of destruction. If a person thinks he is better than other people, then he is in danger of defeat.Proverbs 16:18 (ERV)

If a person respects the Lord, then that person will hate evil. I (Wisdom) hate pride and people who think they are better than other people. I hate evil ways, and a lying mouth.Proverbs 8:13 (ERV)

 

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