Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’” (Luke 18:9-14 NIV)
Imagine the scene Jesus described in this parable. A man bowed under the weight of his own failures enters a large, welcoming courtyard. Perhaps he’s young – in the prime of his life – but today he is moving like an old, arthritic man carrying an invisible weight. As he nears his destination, the tears he’s been fighting to hold inside spill down his face.
He begins to sob and can move no further. [Read more]