sexta-feira, 11 de outubro de 2013
Pharisee and Publican , who are you to pray?
( Luke 18:9-14 )
When we consider the Pharisee , we see a proud attitude when it comes to God . This attitude was demonstrated in two different ways .
The Pharisee demonstrated his proud attitude first of all by his posture . He stood. Undoubtedly , had looked quickly around him to make sure that someone was around to hear how he was wise and eloquent . Not only was standing , but , as Jesus describes it : " prayed to himself to himself ." He was more concerned with asserting their virtues , and those who heard him , than talking to God.
This attitude was also demonstrated by the very prayer that did . There was no demonstration of reverence for God . There was no display of humility . There was recognition of its position in relation to him whom he was addressing . There was no petition. The only thing we see in the Pharisee's prayer was a presentation convinced , proud of its relative comparative virtues to others . In Pharisee see the feeling that God had to listen to him and accept him for what he was and for his human merits . His prayer was a hideous and blatant display of hypocrisy.
The tax collector ( publican )
Turning to the tax collector , however, we see an attitude of humility . As with the Pharisee , his attitude was also demonstrated in two different ways .
The attitude of the tax collector vividly revealed his attitude . He was standing away , thereby withdrawing from the crowd. There was no desire to be heard by anyone but God. The tax collector does not even raise his eyes to heaven . His perception of God and his relationship with him was not allowed to lift their eyes , but rather induces lay his head. While away from the crowd , head down to the ground , he beat his breast and prayed , "O God , be merciful to me a sinner ."
This short prayer , simple, precise , without rhetorical effects exquisite , made by this tax collector sinner , contained all the necessary ingredients to be heard by God . In this sentence there is a recognition of God's mercy , a knowledge of sin , an awareness that without the merciful forgiveness of a Heavenly Father , this modest tax collector would find no hope . These were the considerations which led to lower his head , beat his chest and humble themselves under the mighty hand of God .
In considering the contrast in the attitudes of these two men , it is important to look at the results of their two prayers .
The Pharisee left feeling justified. He had finished speaking with God . He was impressed and no doubt others too, who had heard his recitation hypocritical values. He had fulfilled his religious responsibility , and limited his mind , he'd accomplished very well. Deceived by his own vanity , nor realized it was empty though , as there had arrived earlier.
The tax collector , on the other hand, left justified by God because he humbled himself . He left justified because he had the key to offering a prayer that is acceptable to God. He demonstrated the qualities of true greatness in the kingdom of heaven , as described in Matthew 20:26-28 . "Who wants to be first among you shall be your servant ." This man went down to his house justified because I realized that whoever humbles himself before God shall be exalted ( Matthew 23:12) .
The implementation is clear. When we consider our own virtues or crave the applause of men in prayer , we are incorporating the fullness of Pharisaical spirit . Importantly , this applies not only to a specific time as narrated in the parable , but in true festival praising the man who became commonplace in many sermons and testimonies that are given in our churches . The feeling of a Pharisee who want status of religiosity is much more prevalent than we imagine today.
But the publican , even a sinner , was able to admit and confess : " O God , be merciful to me a sinner " ?
When we understand the great difference that exists between religiosity and sincerity , we have no difficulty in understanding why Jesus said that harlots the heavens will be better than many " religious teachers " .
May God bless us and make this word blessing result in the extension of our consciences !