Pharisee vs Tax Collector

Tonight we had the largest number of people present at one time than normal. Twelve. All of them are involved and frequent studiers but it has been a while since all of us were able to make it together. Six of us started the evening at Rosas and were met later by six more once we reached my house. We worshiped a bit and then discussed the fatal issue of pride and how it’s really easy as a Christian to look down upon others in pride.

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable:  “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” ~ Luke 18:9-14

Back in my apologetic days I constantly and passionately looked down on atheists, evolutionists, and democrats (yeah I was a hater). I was quick to judge and slow to forgive, so tonight’s topic really hit home for me. Yet somehow I was able to find truth in the places I tried so hard to attack. I was once the Pharisee, but now I am the tax collector. Well – at least I try to be.

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About Garrett Oden

Garrett Oden is a manager and trainer at Yellow House Coffee in Lubbock, Texas. When he's not slinging espresso, he's writing for CBG and beyond, dating his wife, and reading everything I can get my hands on.

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