Theme: LOVE, FORGIVENESS, MERCY
Text: “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.” – Luke 18:13
Comment: In the parable of the Pharisee and the publican as told by the master himself, the Pharisee showed his holier-than-thou behaviour in his prayer as he justified himself by enumerating his self-acclaimed deeds of righteousness. Job the prophet of God says: “If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.” – Job 9:20.
The publican on the other hand was remorseful as he was conscious of his sinful deeds for which reason he made the short prayer of remorse as could be seen in the text for today. The statement of Jesus Christ on the remorseful act of the Publican shows that the publican gained God’s forgiveness unlike the self-righteous and self-justifying Pharisee. – Luke 18:14.
The Psalmist truly said “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” (Psalm 86:5) It is honourable to acknowledge one’s shortcomings due to human frailty – like King David when told of his errors, said unto Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” (2 Samuel 12:13) Topublicise one’s deeds of righteousness is evidence of pride and lack of understanding of the word of God. It would make one not to get the mercy and forgiveness of God. – Proverbs 28:13,14.