What Jesus Did! 'Two Men, Vast Differences' — Luke 18:10-14

Thursday, October 22, 2015

"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 18:10-14 NLT
Illustration of Luke 18:10-14 NLT — "One time there was a Pharisee and a tax collector."

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

Father, forgive me for I am a sinner. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Galatians 6:1-5
  • Proverbs 16:18
  • Proverbs 8:13

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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.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.