Humble Yourself Before The Lord
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.”
The above parable of Jesus is from Luke 18:9-14. For this week’s Overflow, we want to provide a few questions for you to consider.
What does this parable teach you about God? And what does it teach you people?
It is important HOW we approach God. One man approaches God with a prideful heart in the false confidence of his own righteousness. The other approaches God with humility. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)
Who do you most identify with in the story?
Perhaps you see more of the Pharisee in yourself than you’d like to admit? Romans 12:3 teaches us, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”
Finally, what should I do in response to this teaching of Jesus?
This is the question that we should work towards whenever we read God’s Word. Perhaps you need to repent of prideful thoughts. Perhaps you need to be intentional to honor those who society may consider lower than you? Certainly we all need to need to thank God for His abundant mercies that are new every morning!
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10)