Faith And Deeds
Jesus told a parable about a Pharisee going to the church or the temple to pray. He walked without hesitation through the outer court where only the heathen nations could go and stood as close to the Holy of Holiest as he could! The Pharisee stood close to the Holy of the Holiest so that everyone could see him. Did he ask God for grace? No, he did not seem to need it! His whole prayer was about self-righteousness. Then another one comes to the temple! A Tax collector! A Tax Collector was one of the most hated people in the Israelite community. They were seen as filthy or disinherited sons of Abraham, deserters of the Jewish people, one who collected tax for the hated Roman government tax and enriched them by taking more than needed from the poor people. This Tax collector stood at a distance! Unworthy! He does not have the confidence to lift his hands; he would not even look up to heaven, but he beats his breast and says, God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Jesus said that this man went home justified by God.