by Fenton Moorhead

"HANDLES ON LIFE" - A series on the parables


Sunday evening, July 24, 1990

Luke 18:9-14 "To some who were confident of their own
righteousness and looked down on everybody 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 up and prayed
about himself: `God, I thank you that I am not like other
men--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 everyone who
exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will
be exalted."

I. Two men want to stand before God; one succeeds and the other
fails. Why?

II. Aren't the differences between these two men real?

III. How did the two men arrive at their self-knowledge and
their different confessions?

1. The Pharisee looked DOWNWARD in order to determine his rank
before God. Surely the Pharisee knows his faults and the wolves
that howl in the cellar of his soul, thoughts and desires that
frighten him, but he believes he has them all under control.


Why are scandal sheets so popular? People like to know all the
worst type of junk about others. It excuses our sins by

The honesty of the Pharisee's prayer, as true as it might be in

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