Saturday, 17 April 2021
Title: The Pharisee in Us
By: Chan Yew Thai

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector – Luke 18:9-14 (NIV)

In the above passage, we read about the Pharisee was declaring his own righteousness and despising others. In his prayer he thanked God that he was not a robber, evil-doer, adulterous, or like the tax collector. He fasted twice a week and gave ten percent of his income. He thought he was praying, but what he was doing was self-glorifying before God.

Does that sound familiar? We may not be saying the exact words, but we too act in similar manner – arrogance, self-righteous, behaving in a manner that we are holier than others because we do not cheat, steal, or commit other obvious sins; despising others who are not as knowledgeable in the Bible, or do not read the Bible, or do quiet time, and perhaps condemn others who do not serve in church or love partying. We also criticise and pass comments on what others do or say.

Should we behave in any of the above manner? We are no better than the pharisee because we are judging others which is the job of Jesus alone. We are proud of what we are doing example our service to God or being self-righteous, and feeling good about what we have done or have not done including in the secular environment. We become self-dependant instead of reliant on God. When we behave in this manner, effectively we have taken God’s credit. This often happens very subtly without our noticing it, and I am guilty of it. Therefore, we have to be careful with our thoughts and actions.

On the other hand, the tax collector did not even look up and beat his chest, confessing that he was a sinner and was asking God for mercy. It showed he had a humble attitude and recognised that he was a sinner requiring God’s mercy. This is the attitude that we should emulate – to be humble, to acknowledge the grace of God, and to seek His mercy and forgiveness.

The Bible tells us that those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted (vs 14).

Lesson learnt from this parable is that judging and exaltation are both activities of God, so when we exclude, discriminate, condemn or look down on others we usurp God’s prerogative.

Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, I admit that I have a tendency to be a pharisee and most times not knowing it. I pray that You will help me to overcome this tendency and leave the judgement to You. Pray that, Lord Jesus, You will help me to maintain the attitude of the tax collector and recognise that I am a sinner in need of Your mercy. I pray this in Your victorious name. Amen.

每日靈糧
星期六,2021年4月17日
标题:我們心中的法利賽人
作者:陳有娣姐妹
翻譯:王靖端姐妹

法利賽人和稅吏的比喻–路加福音18:9-14

在以上的經文中,我們了解到法利賽人在宣告自己的公義並鄙視他人。在禱告中,他感謝上帝,他不是強盜、行惡者、不犯姦淫也不像這稅吏。他一個禮拜禁食兩次,凡他所得的都捐上十分之一。他以為自己在祈禱,但他所做的卻是在上帝面前自誇。

聽起來很熟悉嗎?我們可能並未說出完全一樣確切的字句,但我們也以類似的方式行事:自大,自以為是,行為舉止好似我們比其他人更聖潔,因為我們沒有欺騙,偷竊或犯其他明顯的罪過;鄙視那些不太熟悉聖經的人,或者不閱讀聖經,或者不靈修的人,也許譴責那些不參與教會的事奉而愛開派對的人。我們也批評並評論 別人所做的事和說的話。

我們應該照上述任何一種方式行事嗎?我們並不比法利賽人好,因為我們在審判別人,而這卻僅是耶穌的工作。我們為自己所做的事而感到驕傲,例如事奉上帝或自以為是,並且對我們在世俗環境中所做的或未做的事情感到自滿。我們變得依靠自己而不是依靠上帝。當我們以這種方式行事時,我們實際上已經奪取了上帝的功勞。這常常在不知不覺的情況下發生,我對此感到內疚。因此,我們必須謹慎的管理自己的思想和行事。

另一方面,稅吏甚至沒有抬起頭來,只捶著他的胸膛,承認自己是一個罪人,求上帝開恩憐憫他。這表明他態度謙虛,並意識到自己是一個需要上帝憐憫的罪人。這是我們應該效法的態度,要謙遜,感謝上帝的恩典,尋求祂的憐憫和寬恕。

聖經告訴我們,凡自高的,必降為卑;自卑的,必升為高(14節)。

從這個比喻中學到的教訓是,審判和提升都屬上帝的權威,因此,當我們排斥、歧視、譴責或輕視他人時,我們就是篡奪了上帝的權威。

禱告:親愛的主耶穌,我承認我很容易成為一名法利賽人,而且大多數的時候都不自知。我祈禱你會幫助我克服這種惡習,而讓你來判斷人。主耶穌,我向你祈求,幫助我保有稅吏的態度,並且意識到我是一個需要你憐憫的罪人。我以你得勝的名字祈禱,阿們。