The question we should ask is: How does the image I have of myself compare to how God sees me?
Luke 18:9-14: And He also told this parable to certain ones who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, and the other a tax-gatherer. "The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer. 'I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.' "But the tax gatherer, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!' "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted."
The Characters in the parable:
- The Pharisee: a religious leader
- A Publican: a tax collector.
- God: the infinite almighty
Who was this parable for?
a) They trusted in themselves to be righteous b) They saw themselves as righteous c) They viewed others with contempt
- The prayer of the Pharisee
a) Self-talk: b) Self-pride: c) Self-assessment: d) Self-satisfying works of righteousness:
- The prayer of the sinner
a) Self-deprecation: b) Brokenness: c) Repentance:
Conclusion: What did God think of them?
"I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted." That's the Gospel!