Help Is Found In Vulnerability

Ninth in the series “Jesus Is For The Broken”

Luke 18:9-14

Main Point:  A relationship with God is developed through honest humility, not in prideful pretense.

  • The temple in ancient Israel is always “up” in relation to everywhere else
    • Psalm 130:1-8
  • 1.  Case Study 1:  Arguing everything is perfect [11-12]
    • Pharisees were middle-class, moral, pious, and had pretty good doctrine
      • believed in God’s existence, the prophets, the coming Messiah, and the resurrection
      • However, while their minds may be close to God, their hearts tended to be far away from Him
    • The pharisee in the parable was reading his “resume” before God
      • His pose is prideful; standing, hands raised up
      • He compares himself to others in order to make himself look good to God
      • He brags about his fasting, which isn’t a bad practice, but using it as a credential to earn God’s regard is bad
        • Leviticus 16:31
      • same with tithing, but remember, everything a Christian has belongs to Jesus
        • Deuteronomy 14:22
    • Trusting in deeds to improve our status with God is a problem
    • The pharisee cannot be honest with God about what’s in his heart
      • He is far from grace because he believes he “has it together”; he is not poor in spirit
  • 2.  Case Study 2:  Admitting everything is broken [13]
    • This man is a tax collector:  He is the front man of a massive extortion racket, backed by the Roman government
    • He realizes he has problems with sin he cannot fix
      • His pose is humble; eyes down, beating his chest
    • Only God can solve his problem with sin
      • For Christians, “sinner” is not our primary identity, it is “saint”
      • However, we must be honest with God about how we have “fallen short”
        • Hebrews 2:17-18
      • Sin is only ever dealt with when God acts; the cross of Christ is where forgiveness of sins is offered
    • The man goes away justified because he confessed his need of mercy from God
      • We receive spiritual blessing from God by recognizing our need of grace, and admitting it to God
  • Application Questions:
    • Have there been times when you have avoided facing shame by pretending to be better than you are?
    • What would need to change in your prayers for them to be more vulnerable and effective?