PARABLES OF OUR LORD
The Pharisee and the Publican
Reading: Luke 18:9-14
[*] The parable we read is about PRAYER!
MANY PEOPLE HAVE DIFFERING IDEAS ABOUT PRAYER, AND WHAT IT CAN DO FOR THEM!
One Sunday in a meeting, a young child was "acting up" during the
morning meeting. The parents did their best to maintain some
sense of order, but were losing the battle. Finally the father picked the little fellow up and walked sternly up the aisle
on his way out. Just before reaching the safety of the foyer, the
little one called loudly to the congregation, "Pray for me! Pray for me!"
A daddy was listening to his child say his prayer "Dear Harold." At this, dad interrupted and said, "Wait a minute, How come you called God 'Harold?’"
The little boy looked up and said, "That's His name. You know, "Our Father, who art in Heaven, Harold be Thy name."
(A) I often meet people who are full of their own virtues.
They go to great pains to explain what good people they are.
Why if the world were full of such good people, what a different place it would be - or so they would have you believe.
[*] You remember the old hit song "Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble when you’re perfect in every way!"
(B) Dr. R.A. Torrey suggested that in this parable, we see an illustration of "A GOOD MAN WHO WAS LOST, AND A BAD MAN WHO WAS SAVED"
(C) We first of all notice that it is the "GOOD" man, the Pharisee, who is lost- not accepted by God, despite all there is to undoubtedly commend him.
Secondly we notice that it is the "bad" man, the publican who is saved despite the fact he has nothing in the way of good works to commend him.
(D) There is a tremendous contrast between these two men -the haughty Pharisee who despised everyone and thought so very much of himself, and the poor Publican, who didn't even feel worthy enough to lift so much as his eyes to heaven.
(A) The Pharisee was lost because he trusted in RELIGION to save him!!
(C) The state of the Pharisee proves that Salvation is not found in religion.
i. Pharisees were the strictest and most religious sect among the Jews but with the majority of them it was little more than an empty outward show.
ii. They were more interested in the outward show than the state of their hearts.
iii. In the course of their religious observance they would regularly visit the Temple, but were in reality far from God.
vi. The Pharisee has a great many modern descendants, the multitudes of people who today, are trusting in religion to save them.
BUT THERE IS NO SALVATION IN ANY RELIGION, ONLY IN THE PERSON OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF.(Acts 4:12)
(A) In his so-called prayer, he stated quite clearly that he thought himself to be a fine moral man. He lived a good, clean upright life (v 11).
i. He was not an extortionist, he was not unjust, he was not an adulterer, BUT FOR ALL THAT, HE WAS LOST, BECAUSE A MANS GOOD CHARACTER CAN NEVER SAVE HIM. (Rom. 3:20)
ii. Even if from this moment you could start living a perfect life, even taking no account of all your past sin, you could still not enter heaven through your own efforts - for salvation is not through morality, but through the precious shed Blood of Christ. (Is .64:6) (Gal. 2:16)
(B) THE PHARISEE WAS LOST BECAUSE HE TRUSTED IN RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE TO SAVE HIM. (v.12)
i. I told a man in a pub ,that I was a Christian.
He said "SO AM 1,1 WAS BAPTISED IN THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND AS A CHILD!
There are multitudes today on their way to Hell trusting in baptism, christening, confirmation, the sacraments, confession, the giving of money, and a host of other things!
THESE THINGS CAN NEVER SAVE A SOUL AND JUSTIFY IT BEFORE A HOLY GOD, BECAUSE THE SIN PROBLEM HAS NEVER BEEN DEALT WITH!
ARE YOU LIKE THAT PHARISEE - LOST AND GOING TO A LOST ETERNITY ?
(C) The spirit of his prayer was "I am the sinner- the only one as far as I am concerned".
[*] Remember Jesus spoke about the person, trying to take the tiny scelf out of someone’s eye, without realising that he had a PLANK in his own!!
(E) God says that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.
NO ONE CAN EVER GAIN ADMISSION TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD UNLESS THEY ARE WILLING TO GO IN THROUGH THE SINNERS DOOR.
.Each one of us must come as the Publican in the spirit 'Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling".
"God be merciful to me a sinner!"
It is the only way, and if you haven’t done it yet – NOW is the time!
Salvation Army Song Book