Summary: It is so easy to do the right thing the wrong way. This is especially true of church going people or Christians. We want to do the right thing but we don’t always do it the right way. When we see someone doing something wrong it may be right to say tha
Doing the right thing the wrong way Part 1
The two men who prayed, Pharisee and a tax collector (publican)
A. We are starting a new sermon series on “Doing the right thing the wrong way.” The Bible is full of stories where two people do the same thing, but one does it the right way the other does it the wrong way. Two men who did the right thing and prayed but one did it the wrong way and one did it the right way. Two men who built a house one did it the wrong way and one did it the right way. Two men who did the right thing and offered sacrifices, but one did it the wrong way and one did it the right way. There are also many stories of people who tried to do the right thing but did it the wrong way, like when King David wanted to bring the Ark of God into Jerusalem and he went about it the wrong way. Or when Moses tried to correct the nation of Israel because of their complaining but he went about it the wrong way.
B. It is so easy to do the right thing the wrong way. This is especially true of church going people or Christians. We want to do the right thing but we don’t always do it the right way. When we see someone doing something wrong it may be right to say that it is wrong but how we go about it makes all the difference. I think people who have gone about doing the right thing the wrong way have done a lot of harm to the name of Jesus Christ. When we do the right thing the wrong way, it often comes across to other people as mean spirited or self-righteous. I know that is how it comes across to God. Today we shall be looking at one of these situations with two men who went to pray.
C. Today we are going to talk about the two men who prayed. This is a story of two men who did the right thing, at the right time, in the right place, but one of them did it in the wrong way.
D. We are going to start in the gospel of Luke but before we do…
Honor God’s Word
2 Tim 2:15 “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, and become someone who can rightly divide the word of truth.”
Read Luke 18:9-14
Praying is difficult for most people Luke 18:9-14
A. Prayer is intimidating to many people. Many people struggle with praying out loud. Many people struggle with thinking that they don’t know how to pray correctly.
B. There is so much misunderstanding when it comes to prayer. Some people think that if their prayer is in the King James English it is sure to be heard. Some people think that if they pray long prayers with lots of scriptures in them they are sure to be heard.
C. Jesus said in Matthew 6:7 but when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
D. Rather than worrying about the exact right way to pray we should be more concerned about our attitude when we go to prayer. Our attitude is what is more important to God than the exact words we pray.
The contrast between the two men
“Two men went up into the Temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a tax collector (KJ-publican).”
A. The Pharisee
1. The Pharisees were a religious political party in Israel at the time of Jesus, similar to America today, we have political parties. With one obvious difference, our political parties have separated themselves from any attachment to religion. Today we have Republican, Democrats, Libertarians, and several others, in Jesus day Israel had Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots and several others.
2. A Pharisee was a pious man in his daily living. He knew the Law of Moses and lived it. He sought to apply it to everyday life. He was a hardworking church member. He was a Biblical fundamentalist. He read and studied the scriptures and believed every word of them. But even more important he was not ashamed of the scriptures; he talked about them constantly. He was a missionary, a church planter. The Jewish communities scattered around the Mediterranean world were the results of the efforts of the Pharisees.
3. He was a devoutly religious man. He was very interested in spiritual things. He was decent and upright had integrity. Honest in his business dealings. He was liberal with his money. He gave tithes of all that he possesses.