Luke 18:9-14  “Lawd Have Mercy”

9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.” [NRSA]

Warning against self-righteousness. Our own good work is not the basis of our righteousness.

  1. Better is not good enough.

God imputes my faith, through Christ.

I thank you that I’m better than someone worse.

1. What is acceptable to God? {Micah 6:8)

  • In every age, there are those who believe by their good works they can be acceptable to God. 
  • In every generation, people trust in themselves, their goodness, their resolve, their hard work.. 
  • “If I can be good enough, God will accept my efforts.” 
  • If I am generous enough, kind enough, etc.

Vs. “do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” [Micah 6:8]

2. What is the Role of Good Works?

As Jesus is talking he is thinking of the Pharisee, The position of the Pharisee is typical of contemporary Jews, trusting in one’s self for salvation. Rash a Shanna, a day of thoughtful reflection, now, the orthodox Jew will reflect on his/her life in the past year, and remember all the good and evil that one has done. A previous week is filled with adding good to tip the scale before the holiday. 

Being acceptable to God. 

=> Demanding God accept 

OUR works for righteousness.

This person is not limited to Jew, many Christians looking to their own works, as their means of being justified before the Lord.

3. The Acusation that religion has too many rules

What to do,

What not to do

Holiness <old school> 

“MY” Holiness: don’t smoke, drink, dance, movies, cards, rules and regulations by the church, “I felt I was righteous because I did what was expected” Look how righteous, here is the proof, here are the examples. Basis of righteousness, trusting in the kind of rules for proper standing before God.



Jesus tells us, instead, when he returns, many will seek entry into the kingdom based on marvelous works, heal the sick, cast our devils, prophesied, done works in your name. Depart from me you workers of iniquity, I never knew you!  

My only hope is in the work of Jesus Christ, for me and you.

  • The way of salvation is through Jesus’s work, nothing of our own.
  • Am I looking to my efforts, or to my faith in Jesus’ work that has finished salvation for all who believe.

4. Professionals vs Amateurs

Scribes and Pharisees had devoted themselves to keeping the law, professional law keepers. Devoted to every aspect of keeping the law from a legal way. Leaders were known as those who prayed, gave to the poor, people who live following the expectations of the law.

Disciples were not professional religious keepers. Peter, we will never make it, because we are not even up to the Pharisee’s examples… The whole keeping of the law was an outward, surface thing. The lord is more interested in our heart than our actions.

The attitudes over actions. Attitudes stunk, stank, were stinking.


Pride, judgmental, self-righteous

Hypocrisy, beware of outward show and inward woo.

  • God is looking on the heart: Not the outward appearances
  • God is interested in the attitudes th are the base of our actions
  • Don’t do your righteousness, let it not be seen for the affect is has on others.
  • POWER of self vs POWER of God.

6. Spiritual Pride, 

I am capable of judging my brother and sister, measuring is God’s job of judgement.

UNDERHANDED JUDGING…. Are you placing yourselves as Judge


We are certainly to declare what is good vs evil,

Love those who do evil and let God be the judge.  It necessary to inform those who do evil, but it is not our role to determine their fate.

If you walk in front of a car you will be hurt or worse

We are not judging, we are teaching and warning. 

Stranger Tax – SPLOSH ‘vs PROPERTY TAX for Residents

Comparing ourselves with each other is not how we measure righteousness acceptable to God.

We have to compare ourselves to Jesus Christ.

That is the righteous standard.

John 16, when the HS comes he will testify on my behalf.

If you want to be in heaven you have to have a righteousness equal “=” to Christ, in our selves alone, it is impossible.

Parisee’s Practice: 

Only one day to fast, the Day of Atonement

Spiritual merit to fast on other days, Mondays and Thursdays, market days

Go public to show how good we are..

I give tithes of all that I possess, as he is talking to God he speaks about himself to God. 

5 times, I I I I I

A prayer to convince God how good he was, I’m doing well without YOU!!!!!


The publican

Eyes down, 

Feeling the guilt of his life, 

Beating on his chest

God Be merciful

Merciful in Greek is HELLA SKO MY, in Greek translation of OT, to include the common people/reader/ 70 scholars developed a translation, the Septuagint, … in the tabernacle, mercy seat, sprinkled by the high priest, this Greek word by which they used for MERCY SEAT, “ God look upon me to the blood sprinkled mercy seat.”

Never a hint of forgiveness without substitutive gift… he was asking for the blood, and Jesus said, that man went home justified while the other was still in his sins.

The man who one who begged to be forgiven by his actions vs one begging by the blood on the mercy seat.

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