My Happy Boast of Being Morally Bankrupt

All this week, I’m going to focus on the passage that has meant so much to me of late, and it just so happens to be the passage that this blog is based on. It’s from Luke 18 and it has had a profound impact on me because it simply turns world-views upside down for the better and provides a ballast of a foundation for all Christian living.

Growing up in this culture as a young sports fan it did not take long to learn what “greatness” really was. I learned that greatness was being the champion, standing over your defeated foe, basking in victory! I learned that greatness was hitting a home run in game seven of the World Series when the bases are loaded to win it all! I learned that greatness was throwing or catching a touchdown in the last seconds of the Super Bowl to defeat that team that no one thought could be beaten! But when I became a Christian God began to show me that His ways are not the ways of this world, and that greatness did not come in worldly pomp and circumstance, but in humility. Luke 18:9-14 presents such a case, and shows us the difference between true greatness and foolish unrighteousness.

Luke 18:9-14 says:

“And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; and I pay tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Join me the rest of this week to explore what I think God has for us in this text.

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