Summary: It is pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began. - C. S. Lewis God pickles the proud and preserves the foolish.

How Jesus Approached the Proud and the Humble (Luke 7:36-50)

The Lord Jesus was the Master of approaching people at the point of their need and their level of receptivity. He knew how to move from a person’s felt need to their perceived need to their human need as a gateway to their spiritual need. Let us discover some principles of persuasion from how Jesus successfully approached the proud Pharisee and a harlot, broken and contrite in spirit. May the Lord grant us wisdom to improve our persuasive abilities by studying and following the steps of Jesus.

Illustration: George Gordon Liddy, Watergate conspirator recently released from prison: “I have found within myself all I need and all I ever shall need. I am a man of great faith, but my faith is in George Gordon Liddy. I have never failed me.”

The Christian Century, Sept. 28, 1977, p. 836


It is pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began. - C. S. Lewis

God pickles the proud and preserves the foolish. - Anon

Did you hear about the clever salesman who closed hundreds of sales with this line: “Let me show you something several of your neighbors said you couldn’t afford.” - Anon

Pride is the dandelion of the soul. Its root goes deep; only a little left behind sprouts again. Its seeds lodge in the tiniest encouraging cracks. And it flourishes in good soil: The danger of pride is that it feeds on goodness. - David Rhodes

God wisely designed the human body so that we can neither pat our own backs nor kick ourselves too easily. - Guideposts

There is perhaps no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive. Even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility. - Benjamin Franklin, from his autobiography

Pride is the only disease that makes everyone sick but the one who has it. - Anon

“Be not proud of race, face, place, or grace.” - C. H. Spurgeon

Christ’s Approach To the Proud (Luke 7:36-50)

1. One day Jesus accepted the invitation of a proud Pharisee, Simon, to have dinner in his home. Jesus never discriminated against anyone for any reason. Jesus willingly faced difficult circumstances for the sake of His mission - to seek and to save those who were lost.

Illustration: Health in the Soul

The focus of health in the soul is humility, while the root of inward corruption is pride. In the spiritual life, nothing stands still. If we are not constantly growing downward into humility, we shall be steadily swelling up and running to seed under the influence of pride.

J. I. Packer in Rediscovering Holiness, Christianity Today, November 9, 1992, p. 37

2. Simon, the Pharisee coldly welcomes Jesus to convince all of his friends that he is no special friend of this young upstart religious teacher. Jesus put up with many social snubs and insults for the sake of the Father

3. After the evening with Jesus we understand that Simon did not change his mind about Jesus. Simon remained as he was - curious, but still placing his faith in the traditions of men rather than on person of Jesus Christ and His truth. Simon was willing to talk about the sins of others, but not his own. Still, Jesus succeeded in accomplishing the will of His Father, but giving the people a chance for repentance and faith .

Illustration: Former heavy-weight boxer James (Quick) Tillis is a cowboy from Oklahoma who fought out of Chicago in the early 1980s. He still remembers his first day in the Windy City after his arrival from Tulsa. “I got off the bus with two cardboard suitcases under by arms in downtown Chicago and stopped in front of the Sears Tower. I put my suitcases down, and I looked up at the Tower and I said to myself, ‘I’m going to conquer Chicago.’ “When I looked down, the suitcases were gone.”

Today in the Word, September 10, 1992

4. Simon and his Pharisaical friends mocked Jesus for associating with sinners, tax-collectors and prostitutes. They could not understand why any religious man would give teaching to the reprobate. Jesus knew that His greatest response would come from those who knew they needed His help, not the proud.

Illustration: Overspent on Sugar

In her memoir of a truly dysfunctional family, The Liar’s Club, Mary Karr tells of a Texas uncle who remained married to his wife but did not speak to her for forty years after a fight over how much money she spent on sugar. One day he took out a lumber saw and sawed their house exactly in half. He nailed up planks to cover the raw sides and moved one of the halves behind a copse of scruffy pines trees on the same acre of ground. There the two, husband and wife, lived out the rest of their days in separate half-houses.

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