‘To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable…’’ (Luke 18:9-15)
There seems little doubt that in terms of the law the Pharisee did all that was expected of him, however, the real question he should have perhaps been asking himself was not how he compared to the tax-collector who stood close by, but rather how He compared to God!
Prayer is not about coming before God to tell Him how good we are, it’s about giving thanks to the Lord for all He has given us and done for us, about acknowledging our own faults and failings and seeking His forgiveness and about bringing the needs of others before Him. The Pharisee was interested in one person and one person only – himself. In contrast the tax-collector is only too aware of his faults and his need for God’s mercy and so comes before Him as he should – and we would do well to model our prayer life, not on the Pharisee, but on the tax-collector.