Monday, June 23, 2008

Who's the Pharisee? Part II

Luke 18:9:

"And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:"
The New Religious Pharisaism: "Oh Gosh Lord, I just thank you that I am not like those who heap up rules. I thank you that I do not walk around like I have a corn cob stuck in my buttocks. Frankly, I am just thankful that I am not like those who live with conflicted consciences. Oh Lord, grant me opportunities to show them the silliness of their actions. Grant me opportunities to expose their self righteousness. I thank you that my worship is driven by my heart. I thank you that my worship is not tainted by evil desires to be seen as righteous."
"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, the 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" (Luke 18:13-14).

Who is it that the Lord esteems? Those who keep all the rules? Those who heap up the rules? Those who don't heap up the rules? Those who wouldn't touch a Pharisee with a 20 foot poll? Those who can detect self-righteousness like a new GPS unit? None of the above.
"But to this one I will look: To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word" (Isaiah 66:2b).

1 comment:

Luke Snowden said...

That passage is so convicting. What is even more amazing as Piper points out, is that the Pharisee is expressing his proud legalism in the context of a prayer of Thanks to God. The Pharisee, though a legalist and proud, says, "Thank you God!" And attributes his status to God.

Sin is incredibly decietful. We can say that right things to sound the right way to our own ears, when in our hearts we are so vile.

Jimmy, here is my question for you. How can we position ourselves today to create an environment to help us mortify these universal tendencies in ALL of us who wish to serve our Savior?