You Might Be a Pharisee If . . .

You Might Be a Pharisee If . . .

Luke 18: 9-17


Might be a Redneck if . . .

  • Funny because we often recognize just a little of ourselves or someone we know
  • This is the genius of Jesus – greatest story teller ever
    • Even if it makes us a little uncomfortable, we recognize a little of ourselves in the story.


Title of Sermon – You Might be a Pharisee If . . .


We don’t start off with the intention of being a Pharisee

  • Pharisee started off well – “God, I thank you”
  • Good thing to thank God for our progress and growth
  • Background on Pharisees
  • They didn’t start off with the intention of being the punch-line or “how-not-to examples”
  • Somewhere something went wrong:


Used the Wrong Measuring Stick

  • Two men used two different measuring sticks
  1. Pharisee compared himself to another man
  2. Tax collector compared himself to God
  • Canon – measuring stick
  • This is the first place where the Pharisee went wrong
  • What happens when we compare ourselves to others?
    • We can pick out faults or things we think are faults. We can find ways to make ourselves feel/look better.
    • We are able to look better. It leads to lack of humility.
  • What happens when we compare ourselves to God?
    • We are quickly humbled.
  • The tax collector compared himself to God – his prayer
    • He knew that he was not a product of his own achievement, but of God’s love.
    • This way of approaching God radically alters the way we view God, ourselves and others!
      • Understanding ourselves as the object of mercy breeds compassion for others.
      • When we view ourselves too favorably we think, “why can’t tey figure it out like me?”
  • Illustration with Sheep and Snow
    • We find the wrong background to compare ourselves to
    • Romans 3:23
  • Golf illustration


He Thought His Sanctification was the Grounds for his Justification

  • We think our sanctification causes our justification
  • Sanctification is what you become and is a process – sometimes we equate the process with our own actions.
  • Story ends with a picture of Jesus and the children


Jesus was talking to them, not about them. I wonder how they left – convicted or angry

How you will leave today depends on your willingness to address the Pharisee living inside each of us.


You Might Be a Pharisee if . . .


If you like it when other people view you as deeply religious


If you go to church to feel good about yourself


If you need to get noticed and thanked for your service and ministry


If you are regularly comparing yourself to other people, or if you are quick to dismiss others for not measuring up


If you have never prayed the tax collector’s prayer.


Beware of reverse self-righteousness.


We will be humbled, the only question is by who and when

  • Philippians 2:9-10
  • 1 Peter 5:5-6 – ‘opposed’ means to line up your armies against


Who will humble you this week?


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