A Parable Of Two Men Told By Y’shua
My notes for this parable:
- Y’shua told this parable quoting the prayers said by two individuals associating their occupation, a Pharisee and a tax collectors. Their occupation alone identifies them. Both men went to the Temple and prayed up a prayer. Y’shua is in fact saying that He is God. Only God may hear the prayers and examine the hearts of the person. You know the person next you you does not hear your prayers and you pray in confidence.
Make this a trustworthy opinion. Y’shua today, as Intercessor High Priest between mankind and His Father, still hears the prayers of both the righteous and the un-righteous. He may well be repeating what He hears to the angels in heaven.
At that, we encourage even those we know who are not saved to pray to God. Y’shua will deliberate for He is God.
- Both men are sinners and both need salvation. Both men entered the Temple and one was granted righteousness leaving the Temple.
Y’shua is not pointing out someone who is “a Christian”, never make that mistake. Many, many make this mistake that the humble guy (tax collector) is a Christian and many model their lives as the tax collector. The tax collector is humble, and Y’shua, God in the flesh, commends him for his heart posture, and all who are humbled at their lowly status before a holy God. But His message is not preaching to all who want to follow Him to be modeled after the tax collector. Watch what he did in the rest of the story, that garnered Y’shua speaking righteousness found in him. For righteousness can be broken down this way.
Self-righteousness is saying “I am enough. I do enough.”
Godly righteousness is saying, “I tried and I failed. God, I hand it all to You. Have mercy on me. I will take what You give to me.”
3. The tax collector then was an official who worked for Rome collecting taxes from the census all those in Judea who were under the occupation of Rome. He is known to receive bribes to cook in the books, passing out favors to those who will offer cash for mash. He is known to steal, putting some in his own coffers by dipping in the tax revenues. He is despised by his fellow Jews for working for the other side. He knows his own plight. The day after he prays in the Temple, he goes back to his old lifestyle.
But this particular tax collector came to a turning point at the crossroad.
Many people today did not go as far. Before God, they are humbled. But we cannot go back to the same life after being humbled. That is just like the yeast rising in a flat bread for going back to the same ires that made him feel remorseful. Is that how followers of Christ should model their lives after? But I find many do that because someone along the way told them half the story. No, he is not. He needs to follow through with repentance and put his trust in Christ.
4. The Pharisee, on the other hand, is just plain obvious a fraud. In the narrative, Y’shua heard his prayer. He is the man! He says, ” I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. ” This man harbors jealousy and spite inside him. On the outside he is not any one of “the other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector”. But the inside is a different story. Guess, who knows?
He is a type that represents many on social media today who is all about display of the outside: they can preach, or write, or post, or comment, without a single thought or mention of what God has done for him or her. For what can do for someone can be getting him a job, a marriage and others. But the greater things that God does for a seeker is the new birth on the inside. Many on social media sound like independent contractors of religious studies. And that is what the Pharisee man did. He made up his own Oral Law to add to the Scriptures. Case in point, there are those who display their research without the guidance of the Holy Spirit and spread the heresy about the nature of Jesus. And they are not faced with a rebuttal. Here Y’shua rebukes that man. I am a follower of Moshiach, so I follow suit.
The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt:
10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 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. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’
13 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!’
Y’shua Now Unpacks
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Note 5. The tax collector confessed his sin and he asked God for mercy. In his sinful state, he did not even regard boldness in having eye contact with the sky. Contrast with the Pharisee who has confidence in his deeds, including tithing to the Temple priests. There is another contrast using money. The Pharisee gives a tenth of his income to the Temple. The tax guy keeps it all to himself. But it is not the Pharisee that was imparted righteousness, Y’shua imparted righteousness to the humbled man who confessed his sin. And mercy was asked and mercy was given to him.