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Pharisee and the Tax Collector - Luke 18:13-14

Lesson # Pharisee and the Tax Collector - Luke 18:13-14
Study Material - Pharisee and the Tax Collector - Luke 18:13-14

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Pharisee and the Tax Collector
Luke 18:13-14

13 And [kai] the publican [telones] , standing [histemi] afar off [makrothen] , would [thelo] not [ou] lift up [epairo] so much as [oude] his eyes [ophthalmos] unto [eis] heaven [ouranos] , but [alla] smote [tupto] upon [eis] his [autos] breast [stethos] , saying [lego] , God [theos] be merciful [hilaskomai] to me [moi] a sinner [hamartolos] .
14 I tell [lego] you [humin] , this man [houtos] went down [katabaino] to [eis] his [autos] house [oikos] justified [dikaioo] rather than [e] the other [ekeinos] : for [hoti] every one [pas] that exalteth [hupsoo] himself [heautou] shall be abased [tapeinoo] ; and [de] he that humbleth [tapeinoo] himself [heautou] shall be exalted [hupsoo] . KJV-Interlinear

13 'But the tax-gatherer, 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, the sinner!' 14 'I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted.' NASB

Anytime we evaluate ourselves, we have to use a standard against which we can compare ourselves in order to see the status of our life.

Truth is the ultimate standard, since truth is the matching up of facts to reality. Truth is not the interpretation of facts so as to conveniently create a preferred new truth, but it is the precise matching up of facts as provided in the Word of God.

The Pharisee was using other people as his standard for measuring righteousness, and he saw himself at the top of the pecking order of mankind. When comparing ones self with people, it is very easy to see the flaws in others, and not see them in ones self. A person gets into the mode of judging and totally off of any objectivity which is crucial for any self examination.

The tax collector on the other hand, used God as his standard for measuring righteousness. God is the perfect standard, which never changes, never deviates regardless of the political, economic, or social atmosphere of the time. Gods righteousness remains unchangeable throughout the ages. It is immutable.

The Pharisee saw no error in himself and therefore saw no need for mercy for himself. The tax collector saw in himself tremendous flaws and inadequacy, and approached God in total humility.

The Pharisee advanced as far as he could inside the temple. He advanced into an area in which he had no right to enter. The tax collector remained far off, but within the temple. Within the temple there is the ultimate presence of God in the Holy of Holies, then the outer room, then the court of priests, then the alter of sacrifice, then the court of women, then in the outside the final area, the court of the gentiles.

The tax collector was in the furthest court but within the temple, in the court of women. This is the place of humility and submission, as represented by the feminine title.

All of mankind begins life in the court of the gentiles representative of unbelievers. Those who become interested in God enter into the court of women wherein they surrender (their attitude) and submit themselves to God. From there we advance to God through the alter of sacrifice which represents the work of Christ on the Cross. This is the point of salvation - faith in Christ.

Passing that point (as believers) we advance toward God past the Brazen laver where a good washing and cleansing is performed ( the picture of confession and fellowship). No one can approach God unless they have been cleansed.

This gains the believer entry into the Holy outer room within the tabernacle, the Holy Place. Inside the Holy Place is the Lampstand (Christ is the light of the world, and Bible doctrine is the written Christ). Then there is the Table of Shewbread. God is the source of all provision. Then there is the alter of incense, the place of offering of prayer to the Father.

From there one enters into the Holy of Holies, the ultimate communion with God. See the chart of the Temple on the web site index page.

The Pharisee advanced into the temple made with the hands of mankind, a temple of stone and mortar and achieved nothing for his attempts. The tax collector advanced into the temple of the spiritual world through humility (he could not lift up his eyes), through his repentance (change of mind and thus salvation) and then through his confession (acceptance of his flaws in life), and was accepted by God.

He realized that he had to throw himself on the mercy of God for forgiveness.

Psa. 40:12
12 For evils beyond number have surrounded me; My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see; They are more numerous than the hairs of my head; And my heart has failed me. NASB

His prayer was short and to the point. He did not try to impress anyone, but instead submitted himself humbly to God in private.

Proud people, who exalt themselves, set themselves as rivals with God. Anyone who ignores God and Gods word, anyone who rejects God and Gods word, by default exalt themselves. God, in his discourse with Job, appeals to this proof, that He is God, that He looks upon every one that is proud, and brings him low, Job 40:12.

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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