God, Be Merciful to Me, a Sinner

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Pastor Jon Brohn
Sermon Text: 

Luke 18:9–14 (NIV) 9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 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. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13 “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.’ 14 “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.”

My dear friends in Christ,
It’s Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, and Jesus has shared a parable with us. Do you remember what a parable is? It is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Jesus wanted to teach the crowd something, and he wants to teach this crowd here today something too. Jesus began by introducing the two main characters of the story. “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector” (Luke 18:10 NIV).

Tell me about the Pharisee. What was he like?