Luke 18:9–14 (ESV)
The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two
men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners,
unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector,
standing far off, would not even lift up 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, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
The Pharisee excludes himself from God’s gift of
righteousness, while the penitent tax collector embraces it. Today, beware of the complacency of measuring your goodness against others. Measure yourself against God’s standards—then repent. God is ready to justify the worst of sinners by His generous
grace in Christ.
I pray: God, be merciful to me, a sinner. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO:
Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1754.