Sunday, 27 October 2013

How To Make a Good impression on God (the Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector)

There are people who want to make an good impression on God, hoping to be welcomed by him and eventually saved. They present an image of themselves which is flattering, assuming that before Him they are supposedly better than others. Will they succeed in impressing God?

This is what Jesus addresses to in His parable concerning a Pharisee and a tax collector (Luke 18:9-14).  Rev. Paolo E. Castellina presents, explains and applies this parable in this week's sermon. Even today, people generally justify themselves, thinking that, "apart from some minor defects", they are basically OK and that God will "certainly" accept them "forgiving their faults". Others proudly extol their supposed merits and good works (even in the field of religion) claiming they are much better than others and that they do not need much more than that in order to be considered "good people" by others and by God Himself. In Jesus' parable, nevertheless, only those who who acknowledge the radical corruption of their hearts and their unworthy lives, earnestly asking God to have mercy on them, will be accepted, as they receive the gift of grace through what Jesus accomplished for them. Here again Jesus condemns people's vain imaginations about themselves and commends those who acknowledge the truth of what the Bible says are God's standards of righteousness and the only way of salvation for a condemned humanity.

For our weekly Biblical meditation we are following here The Revised Common Lectionary of the suggested Biblical texts for the public worship services, adopted by the Reformed, Anglican and Roman Catholic Church.

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