Do You Trust Your Obedience or Christ?

Luke 18:9-14 ESV.

He (Jesus) also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other.

Sometimes, if not most of the time, we catch our self judging others based on their outward performance and not coming to know their heart.

Jesus in this parable showcases the problem. These two men, a religious Pharisee and an unwelcome tax collector are in the temple to pray. The tax collector is non-welcoming because the people looked upon them as robbing their hard-earned money. On the other side, the Pharisee established the cultural, religious standard most people believed were living the way God intended.

As the parable highlights, the Pharisee prayed lifting himself up before God while the tax collector humbled himself. The Pharisee focused his opinion on himself before God by reiterating all the activity he does. He stresses his obedience to the law and compares his actions against others. In his eyes he is better than the others; better because he doesn’t do sinful acts; better because he performs religious activities expected of him. He emphasizes his obedience to prove himself more righteous than others.

On the other hand, the tax collector doesn’t look at himself and his actions. Instead he focuses outward toward God and places the emphasis on His mercy and not his personal actions. Jesus concluded the tax collector’ actions were better off than the Pharisee’s self promotion.

Bottom-line: It’s about Jesus Christ and not what we do. He clothes us with His righteousness and His actions justify us. We simple do what is expected of us as children of the living God. We don’t emphasize our obedience, our faith, nor our acts of service. Instead we place the entire focus on Jesus Christ who makes everything possible. He is our Priest, Savior, and Rabbi. We are his apprentice. He is the master, we are the student. His life, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven has made this all possible.

We don’t emphasize our obedience. Instead we highlight and showcase Jesus Christ.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

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