Forside Articles The Tax-Collector or the Pharisee - on Which Side Are We?
The Tax-Collector or the Pharisee - on Which Side Are We? Udskriv Email
Skrevet af Jørn Nielsen   
Fredag, 04. august 2017 06:27

Permit me to share with you a feature from the parable about the Pharisee and the tax-collector (Luke 18) which again Jesus shared with a "righteous", self-trusting  audience.

I was in my young days told by a scholar, long before I fell in love with the Greek myself, that what the tax-collector really said was, "God, be propitiated with me, the sinner!" or maybe in a more idiomatic language,  "Be my propitiation, I the sinner!"  Or still clearer:  "Be to me, the sinner, what you were meant to be in my stead on the cross of Calvary!"

Do we honestly feel related to that tax-collector or are we unconsciously closer to the "sanctified" (read: the sanctimonious) Pharisee? Your answer all depends on what kind of experience you have made yourself as a sinner - or as the sinner before God, o dear fellow-believer!

When I was a student with New Tribes Mission its gifted leader, Ken Finney, came along and shared with us solid teachings about the cross of Christ, and he did it in a humble and self-experienced way.  That ministry was like needed  balm to my bewildered soul.

I shared my joy with our daily leader of our camp ("boot camp" we called it), but he rather harshly turned me down and let me understand how little I had applied the teachings of the cross in my own life (he had a keen eye for its many flaws).  I was very young and humbly submitted to his "discernment" and felt like a complete failure before that good man.

He was a good man, indeed, and really meant business with God, but now looking back, I believe he was not far from the "righteous" opponent of the tax-collector.  He couldn´t rejoice with poor me who was in his eyes not in practise entitled to the grace of Calvary and its liberating joy.

Who are you "in family" with?  The tax-collector or the Pharisee?  Think honestly about it before God, striking up "Just as I am without one plea..."

August 8, 2017 - jn

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