"Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector.” Luke 18:10, NLT
In this parable (Luke 18:10-14, NLT) Jesus tells a story about a prideful Pharisee who boasts to God in prayer about his piety, fasting, giving and his perceived superiority over the humble tax collector. In contrast, the tax collector in prayer, displays a posture of bowed eyes, confesses of being a sinner and beats his chest while begging for God’s mercy. Then Jesus notes in v. 14, “this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Humility is “a freedom from arrogance that grows out of the recognition that all we have and are comes from God” (Nelson’s Bible Dictionary). It is not a belittling of oneself, but an exalting or praising of others, especially God and Christ. Yet, because we are created in God's image and because believers are in Christ, we have great worth and dignity (1 Corinthians 4:6-7 and 1 Peter 1:18-19, NLT). Humility does not come naturally, it produces gratitude and with humility comes wisdom (Proverbs 11:2b, NLT). Let us pray together…
Father God, Maker of heaven and earth, all creation relies on You for existence. We recognize that You are completely self-sufficient and have no need for anything, including no need for our help! In Your grace and love You invite us into the privilege of being involved with You in the fulfillment of Your purposes. Jesus, You are the ultimate example of humility! Thank You Lord, that You humbled Yourself by coming down from heaven to be born in a lowly manger, to live on earth for 33 years, You gave up Your life willingly to die on a despised cross. We are in awe of You! We deeply treasure the sacrifice You made for us and praise Your Holy Name. Thank You for this grace-filled gift of salvation, we love You Lord! Forgive us, for our self-sufficient attitude. We humbly ask for Your will to be done in us, not our own will. We humbly ask for You to fill the Body of Christ with Your loving Spirit, that the Church would reflect and share Your compassion and unity with others. To the glory of God, in Jesus’ majestic Name we pray, amen.