Pastor Thomas Costello spoke on Luke 18:9-14. He talked about The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector and how we need to trust that humbling ourselves before God is enough.
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.”
Questions for further thought and Discussion
- Are you more focused on yourself when you pray? Or are you focused on the things of God? How do we actually focus on the things of God?
- Do you compare yourselves to others or do you compare yourself to Jesus? Do you notice a change in your life when you make a point to NOT compare yourself to others?
- Do you justify yourself by doing good works? How do we reconcile doing “good works” with Thomas’ statement that they are not what we need to do to please God?
- Will you humble yourself or will you force God to humble you? How can we humble ourselves without completely knocking ourselves down?