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Monday, October 11, 2010


To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable:

"Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.

And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted" (Luke. 18:9-14).

Jesus tailored his message for the crowd who gathered around him. On this occasion there were many self righteous people listening to him.

The Pharisees were the elite among the Jews but were at odds with the Sadducees who also were Jews. They were the social engineers of their day and extended temple law to daily life by creating laws beyond the Torah.

In speaking the way he did, Jesus was looking beyond the cross to a time when right standing wasn’t attained by good works but by believing on Him.

Jesus was looking forward to a time when righteousness was imputed to a believer in him.

The publican (tax collector) was the prototype of all sinners who would come to GOD and declare, be merciful to me a sinner, Jesus response is ever he that cometh unto me I will not cast out.

Even though both of these men were Jewish believers (in the law) the one had an aura of elitism that kept himself apart from the publican.

In America the caste system is classified as upper, middle and lower class. The distinguishing marks are wealth, social standing, education, and politics.

These things carry over into the church where snobbery is an accepted practice. At the same time there is a careless rebellious attitude that prevails among some others. They couldn’t care less about their dress, cleanliness, and thrive on being offensive.

Then there are those who are caught in the middle and act as a bumper between those groups. Sad to say I have seen some preachers who were so full of themselves it is a wonder they have time for GOD, and there wives aren’t far behind. These things just make one appreciate those humble committed servants all the more.

Neither of these groups is willing to, or wants to change, so we deal with it with accommodation, acceptance, and try to keep the peace. Amen


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