The Power of Persistence
Date: October 27, 2019
The passage from Luke for this Sunday features a story that Jesus told about a Pharisee and a Tax Collector who went to the Temple to pray. Two characters that are polar opposites. The Pharisee was religiously righteous, the tax man extorted revenue for the Roman oppressors. The religious expert was smug and confident, the outsider was anxious and insecure.
The Pharisee paraded around telling God how good he was and how valuable he was to God. The Tax Collector hung his head standing at a distance and begged God for forgiveness. He could not even look up when he considered what a sinner he was.
The parable punch line announces a reversal in the end. The respectable, reputable Pharisee, so competent and accomplished, the one who had done everything right was rejected, whereas the disreputable, inadequate Tax Collector went away "justified" because of his humility.