Luke 18:9–14 (NKJV)
Jesus relates another parable concerning pride or self-righteousness. The Pharisee in the story was prideful and arrogant, while the publican was humble and repentant. Whose prayer was more effective?
9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”Luke 18:9-14
Two men went up to the temple to pray. The Pharisee pontificated about his status and his superiority to others who prayed–sinners all. He then bragged about his benevolence and his fasting. The tax collector. or publican, simply repented of his sins and asked for mercy. Jesus made it abundantly clear that the prayer of repentance was heard, while the Pharisee was rebuffed. Humility is the path to forgiveness and approval, not pride. Contrition opens the heart of God not, bravado. Humble yourself before the Lord and be forgiven. Boast and be forgotten.