DAY 72 OF 365 IN 2021
Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
Jesus could not have chosen a more fitting pair of characters for comparison than the two presented in the Gospel today. It might even seem reasonable to say that these two individuals are the kind who would each prefer to turn around than come into direct contact should they meet in a narrow alley way. We should therefore not be really surprised that there was significant distance between them, even in the temple.
Nonetheless, it is their prayers which give us a glimpse of the state of their hearts and their standards for comparison, that is; who they looked up to. It was evident that the Pharisee had “other men” as his yardstick for in his prayer, he was proud to present himself to God as ‘better than other men’. He seemed to have forgotten something the tax collector held even closer ‘that God was the standard’.
This state of heart is important because truth be told, using other people as comparison, there will always be a group of persons one will easily see themselves as ‘better than’ from many perspectives. However, using them as standards will only close our eyes to the ultimate standards of measure: God himself. Consequently, in our haughtiness and pride, we will come to God blowing our own trumpet when in His eyes, we really would have also missed the mark.