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Some people hold themselves in such high esteem that they feel that they are better than others. The Pharisee and the Publican is a parable told by Jesus to show that having the mindset, of thinking you are better than someone else, is very wrong. Jesus told this parable of the pharisee and the publican (also known as the taxpayer) who came to pray. The pharisees prayers were selfish, bragging, and he even insulted the publican in his prayers. The publican sought only mercy from the Lord in his prayers. Jesus made it clear that whoever esteems themselves greater than someone else will be brought down from their "mightier than thou attitude", in fact, Jesus told the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican to the very people who held themselves in such high esteem.
And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others. Luke 18:9
Two men pray very different prayers There were two men who went into the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee (priest)and the other a publican (taxpayer)
Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. Luke 18:10
The Pharisee's prayer was full of conceit, as he placed himself higher than other people and even insulted the publican who was also praying there. He did thank God but in so doing he insulted the publican and sinners because he exalted himself by implying that he is a better person than the publican, extortioners, unjust, and adulterers.
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. Luke 1811
The Pharisee started bragging to God about what he gives to God During his prayer the Pharisee was saying aloud and basically bragging that he pays his tithes, thereby implying that he was more righteous or better than others because of this fact.
I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. Luke 18:12
The publican was humble during his prayer, beating his chest and asking God to be merciful to him because he was a sinner The publican's prayer was very different from the Pharisee's because he was not concerned with material things of this earth, of being better than anyone else, his only concern was to plead with God to be merciful to him because admittedly he was a sinner, as we all are.
And the publican standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heave, but smote upon his breast, saying God be merciful to me a sinner. Luke 18:13
Jesus clearly states that the publican would be justified The publican would be justified, rather than the pharisee because everyone that puts himself higher than others will be abased (brought down) and everyone who humbles themselves before God will be exalted (brought up).
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. Luke 18:14
Meaning of The Parable of The Pharisee & the Publican: The meaning of the parable of The Pharisee and the Publican is clear: Whoever puts themselves higher than someone else will be brought down and whoever humbles themselves will be raised up in the eyes of God We are not to hold ourselves in such high esteem that we think we are better than other's.