"The Perils of Pride"
Scripture: Luke 18:9-14
9 “To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable:” Luke 18:9 (NIV)
It’s not every parable or story that Jesus tells where he gives you the point of the parable, even before he tells you the story!
Two Men, Each Praying to God:
Pharisee—Religious Leader and a paragon of religious virtue
- Lists his own pious behavior to God
- Compares his behavior to someone less religious
Tax Collector—Social outcast in Jewish circles; a chief sinner
- Knows he doesn’t deserve God’s forgiveness and favor
- Relies on God’s lovingkindness and mercy
Only one of these two finished their prayers as justified and forgiven by God.
Question: Are you trusting in your own religious, moral abilities to obtain God’s favor?
The vast majority of Americans, who, when asked, “Do you believe you are going to Heaven?” answer “Yes”, or “I think so.” When asked why, the #1 answer is “Because I’m a good person.”
Trusting in your own moral goodness is dangerous. Why?
- It leads to pride
- It causes a person to despise or look down on others
- It prevents him or her from learning anything about God
The best prayer you could have to God? “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner…”
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