Summary: This is a message about the destructiveness of pride and the value of humility
We begin a new series- Did you hear the one about- parables of Jesus.
• Parable- Jesus taught using these because He understood the power of a story.
• We remember the stories we hear often more than the sermons…
Today- we are tackling the subject of the know it all… more specifically the 2 opposing ideas Pride and Humility
The is a strong word… As a child we were not allowed to say- I hate you! But in adulthood I discover there are things that I hate…
What do you hate….
All who fear the LORD will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech. Proverbs 8:13
Pride- an elevated opinion of myself and abilities that results in condescending or aloof behavior with people or God.
Humility- when I am others focused, God centered
Pride and arrogance today seemed to be modeled too often in professional sports… If you are looking for examples..
• T.O.- every team he has been with has had problems because he believes he should have the ball more and is willing to tell that in interview. He has no Superbowl rings. His teams have gotten close but his whinning has become a disruption in San Fran, Phila, and now Dallas.
• Coach Tony Dungy- is there a better man to be an example of humility. He led the Steelers in 1978 in interceptions as they won the Superbowl, he has also led the Colts, as head coach to a Superbowl. Everything I read about the man speaks of him being amodel of integrity and humility
The danger for me and for that matter you… is when we relegate pride to an outward public bravado we take a pass on a personal level.
Pride often looks like this
• Passing the panhandler on the street with kids- at least I care for my kids
• Hearing someone cuss and thinking- man how does he talk that way- I never
Pride is very subtle… it moves in so cautiously and often masquerades itself as humility … It can also happen in churches
• We have a nicer building than you do- therefore we are better
• We have cooler music than you do- therefore we are much better
• Or the one I hear around the Bay- Our pastor is better looking than your pastor… maybe that was just around my house?
Our parable today has two people on the opposite spectrums of religious life in Jesus day
• Pharisee- religious fundamentalist, legalist, incredible to have for a neighbor. No late parties, never park in your yard and would always pick up after their dog
• Tax Collector- hated. These were sell out to the Roman occupiers. They required to collect a certain amount but everything above that they keep. Thieves- irs gone bad… They would be horrible neighbors. Huge parties, people parking on your grass,
their dog- an unleashed angry pit bull!
9 Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Matthew 18:9-14
“Pride believes I am smarter than everyone else”
Beware of the Blinding Light of Pride-
I have to be careful at this time of year in my neighborhood. Driving west the sun sets on the road and causes me to be blind. I often stop the jeep until my eyes adjust. That is what pride does- we become blind to other peoples reactions and our responses.
• Pride will make you alone (v.11- stood by himself)
Have you been there- your opinion of yourself is so large, no one wants to be around you. Check it out
• Pride will elevate your opinion of yourself (listen to his prayer)
Have you ever tried to win God’s approval this way?
• Pride will always focus on “religious deeds” (listen to his deeds)
When you sense disconnected with God- you begin to try and do more for Him- instead of spending time with Him