5/23 – Two Men Went To The Temple To Pray…

Luke 18:9-14

This is the familiar parable of the Pharisee and Publican. The Pharisee’s prayer was basically him praising himself: he thanks God that he does not sin like others and then lists all the good things he does.  The Publican’s prayer was simply “God be merciful to me, a sinner”.

According to the parable the man living the most outwardly obedient life (The Pharisee) was rejected and the one who admitted sin (The Publican)  went home justified.

Does this encourage sin or suggest that sin is not serious?   Why was the Publican justified?  What could the  Pharisee have prayed to be more acceptable to God?

Think about your prayers today.  Did they most resemble the Pharisee or the Publican?



Filed under Humility

3 Responses to 5/23 – Two Men Went To The Temple To Pray…

  1. Andrew Benson

    It seems to me the pharisee felt he deserved to be blessed by God. That is a dangerous and all around incorrect attitude for anyone to have. We do not earn forgiveness/blessings by our actions. Those that build themselves up with their own actions may come to rely on themselves instead of God. The tax collector was right to recognize his imperfectness and need for God’s great mercy.

  2. Sandy Steinman

    Along the same lines of Andrews comment the Pharisee was really not praying to God instead he was talking to himself about himself, rather than to God. The tax collector was justified because of the humble and sincere way he prayed for mercy. He did not say “God, be merciful to me, a repentant sinner”; he did not say “God, be merciful to me- after all I’m only human”; rather he simply prayed with all of his body, soul and spirit “God, be merciful to me a sinner.” It was so interesting that the Pharisee saw prayer and his spiritual way of life (which was a checklist type of religion) as a way to be highly exalted but the tax collector approached God in real humility.

  3. Troy Miller

    My comment would be right on with both of y’all’s. Great answers. We definitely need to remember when we pray to ask for mercy cause we all sin and not for our own righteousness.

Leave a Reply