Justified Before God
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt:  “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’  But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father, and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen
Our risen and ascended Lord in the midst of his church declares, in the Revelation of St. John, “I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve. ” (Rev. 2:23) This is the picture of himself which Jesus paints in today’s parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector.
Both of these men entered the temple before the holy presence of God almighty.Jesus’ teaching about these two men at prayer is a fearful commentary about Himself and His relationship with His church; that He is the One “who searches the minds and hearts,” He is the Shepherd of the flock “who divides his sheep from the goats” (Mt. 25:32).Jesus’ teaching this morning can also be a comfort to us as He reveals how you and I can stand truly righteous, that is “fully justified,” before God. Continue reading