Summary: Prable of Pharisee and Publican addresses the problem of a prideful heart

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Parable of Pharisee and Publican

Sermon Outline

Scripture: Luke 18:9-14

Purpose: God desires a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart. (Ps 51:17)

Introduction: The parable was told in response to a prideful attitude of the Pharisees (Luke 18:9)

It is difficult for a prideful person to put his trust in (love) God because he sees no need or to love his neighbors. Where is our trust today? Self or God? Do we love our neighbors or are we focused on our own desires?

I. Two People

Things in common – went to same place and at same time. Possibly at either the morning or evening sacrifice.


1. Pharisee – proud – seeking justice

Thinks that he can be good enough – obey the law

No conviction of sin

2. Publican – humble – seeking mercy

Knows that he needs the “blood of the lamb”

Convicted of sin

II. Two Prayers


1. Prideful – “I” focused (King Saul)

2. Plea – God focused – have mercy on me! - similar to Isaiah 6 “woe is me” and King David (Ps 51 &32)

III. Two Proclamations

1. Justified – publican received grace

2. Condemned – the Pharisee received justice – John 3:18 (condemned already)

Conclusion: Do you want Justice or Grace today?

It is by His grace through faith unto good works (Eph 2:8-10). This is crying out for mercy?

If it is by faith in our works it is Justice not grace.

God does require works but they are His works of the Spirit through us and not our works if the flesh.

Title: Parable of Pharisee and Publican

Introduction: In Luke 18:9 Jesus told this parable to those that trusted in their own righteousness and felt they were better than others. As we attempt to understand this parable it is important that we examine ourselves in regard to these two areas. The Pharisee’s attitudes were the opposite of what Jesus said was the greatest commandments; Love God and love your neighbor.

Where do we place our trust (loyalty) today? Are we trusting in our job, educational background, family, social or economic status or are we trusting in God? We also should ask ourselves do we look down on (despise) others today? Do we love or despise others? Do we despise others of different color, nationality, or those with a perceived lower social or economic status?

This parable focuses on two types of people. One that is seeking justice in his own righteousness and the other is seeking mercy? One is betting on the “Law” and the other is betting on the blood of the “Lamb”. What are you and I betting on today? Are we seeking justice based on our own self-efforts to measure up to the “law”? A quick check is are we measuring ourselves with others or are we measuring ourselves with the “plum line” of God’s Word?

The Bible tells us in Ephesians 2:8-10 that we are saved by grace through faith in the work of Christ. We are not to boast because we have done nothing to warrant this free gift. However verse ten tells us that we are saved unto good works that were established for us to do after we have received this free salvation.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Jesus in His parables draw beautiful word pictures that burn the image into our brain where we can meditate on them and allow the Holy Spirit to bring us to a better understanding of what Jesus wants to teach us by each parable.

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