Summary: To teach our children to not just say thanks but to be thankful is not just for them but also for us,
Thanks, BUT No Thanks
Luke 18:9-14 Rev. R.B.Hughes
Luke 18:14 “… for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Happy Thanksgiving! I enjoy thanksgiving.
- I like the lack of commercialism.
- I enjoy the atmosphere of home and family
· Children, grandparents, reunions, meal at the table, pie, 60 million calories.
- Thanksgiving tilts our head upwards.
· Element of humility.
· Genuine gratitude to God.
· Counting blessings.
BUT thanks is more than a word. It’s an attitude of the heart.
We’ve used the term “thanks’ in a none thankful manner.
When the telemarketer calls.
- Thanks, but no thanks.
- Yes but no!
When I told a bad golfer that Cal had an extra golf ball in his back pocket.
- Cal gave me the “Thanks a lot” look.
- Not really saying feeling gratitude towards me at that moment.
The point being that we can use the term “thanks” and not mean it.
- We can do that when we thank God as well.
- Unbelievers use the term “Thank God” as a relief rather than gratitude.
RELIGIOUS PEOPLE AS WELL!
Lets look at Luke 18
II. EXPOSITION OF LUKE 18:9-14
Again Jesus is the master storyteller and he loves a surprise ending!
· Look at His audience in verse 9.
A. The Similarities. v.10.
- Both were mere men. (given their vocations)
- Both came to pray.
- Both came to the temple.
- Both came to the same God.
- Both spoke for their condition.
B. The Prayers. v.11-13
1. The Pharisee. v.11,12
His Outward Appearance: “he stood”
- You can stand and pray but this particular time is more revealing.
- He stands to be seen.
- If he thought that kneeling would make him look favorable he would.
Ill/ The defiant child being punished: “I may be sitting on the outside but I am standing on the inside.”
- Position doesn’t always mean something.
- He would be wearing the finest religious robes of the day.
His Prayer: “God, I thank you …”
- If he had stopped there he would have been on the right track.
Note: His prayer was “to himself or with himself”.
“I am not like other men ..”
- I am something!
- I am not a sinner like others are!
“I am not like THIS man in particular”
- This tax collector rated as the worst of the sinners.
- I am not like this child molester.
- I am not like a murdering terrorist.
- WE LOVE TO GIVE A GOOD “BAD” EXAMPLE.
“I am like this …”
- I, I, I, I, I ….. 5 times!!
This was a prayer to himself about himself.
- He religiously started with God …. Thanks God …..
- He doesn’t even qualify it by say “but by the grace of God go I ..”
IT IS AT THIS POINT IN THE PARABLE THAT JESUS HAS CAUGHT ME!!!
BECAUSE I SAY “I AM NOT LIKE THAT PHARISEE”.
Pride is so so subtle!!
A young woman went to her pastor and said, "Pastor, I have a besetting sin, and I want your help. I come to church on Sunday and can’t help thinking I’m the prettiest girl in the congregation. I know I ought not think that, but I can’t help it. I want you to help me with it." The pastor replied, " don’t worry about it. In your case it’s not a sin. It’s just a horrible mistake."
Pride has many masks BUT none prettier than spiritual pride. GOD HELP US.
2. The Tax Collector. v.13.
His Outward Appearance: He too was “standing”
- A far off … symbolic of how he felt within.
- The prodigal .. “a far off country”
- Peter … “followed afar off”
- Lepers in Luke 17 … “stood afar off”.
· “Would not SO MUCH AS raise his eyes to heaven”
- How humble. How contrite.
- Jesus is painting a picture.
- Know how you tell you children … look me in the eyes at tell me.
- The eyes reveal ….
HIS LISTENERS ARE SAYING NOR SHOULD HE RAISE HIS EYES!!!
He would be wearing the robe marking of a Roman employee.
- Rags to the onlooker.
“He beat his breast”
- WHY? Because he knows that herein lies my problem.
ILL/ Ever smack yourself on the head … “smarten up”.
- WHY? Because we know where the problem lies.
The Tax Collector knows his problem isn’t:
- Social standing, Intellectual shortcomings, Financial issues.
He beats his breast because he knows his great issue is an issue of the heart!
- An ungrateful heart. Hardened. Cold. Unyielding. Prideful. Sinful.
He does not come in declaring his positive side … thanking God how good he is … NO .. he comes beating his chest signifying there is something within that is terribly wrong.