The Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector
9 Jesus also told this parable to some who were confident that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else.
10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed about himself like this: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: extortionists, unrighteous people, adulterers – or even like this tax collector.
12 I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.’
13 The tax collector, however, stood far off and would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, be merciful to me, sinner that I am!’
14 I tell you that this man went down to his home justified rather than the Pharisee. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
He Who Exalts Himself
Even though this was written so long ago, it still applies to our society today. Many go around life boasting about their status, wealth, and entitlement. They look at others as being beneath them. Yet, they engulf themselves in thoughts that they are righteous and rightfully deserving of privileged treatment. Is it so?
No, it is not. According to this parable, the ones that exalt themselves have their own reward here on earth. Once they reach Heaven, there will be no exaltation for their wealth, their boastfulness, or their pride of privilege. Instead, they will be put in their place; they will be humbled before God.
He Who Humbles Himself
In contrast, the humble man, no matter his position, or status, always recognizes his place on Earth. He remembers his love for God and his faith in Him. He recognizes that his humble reward is His salvation. For such, he carries himself with love, a humble heart, and heavenly thoughts.
He seeks no recognition in status, wealth, or pride of privilege. He carries in his heart the only recognition ever needed, the Holy Spirit. God’s grace is sufficient to him. His salvation is his one and only important possession he wishes to keep.