Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper – January 30, 2023

By January 30, 2023 No Comments


9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

– Luke 18:9-11


Luke 18:9-11 records a parable that Jesus told to those who had “trusted in themselves that they were righteous.” When it comes to righteousness, there are typically two camps:

  1. SELF – RIGHTEOUSNESS: We look to who we are and what we’ve done and what we are doing to determine whether or not we are righteous.

  2. SAVIOR-RIGHTEOUSNESS: We look to Jesus, His person and His work. What he has accomplished and what he is accomplishing on our behalf which deems us righteous.

So, Jesus teaches about righteousness through this parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. The Pharisee enters the temple and prays, “God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. The pharisee deems himself righteous by the comparison of himself to others. The pharisee is making a faulty assumption about how righteousness works. The pharisee is embracing “Self-Righteousness”.

Comparison produces one of two things in the life of the religious person: Arrogance or discouragement.

Much like the Pharisee, when we compare ourselves to others, arrogance seeps out of us because we genuinely believe that we are doing better than “them.” And since we are doing better than “them”, then we must be doing pretty well.

Or we compare ourselves to him or her and come to the conclusion that we will never be good enough, we will never have a prayer life, or understand the Bible like him or her…Comparison can lead us to discouragement.

This is what self-righteousness will produce!

On the other hand,  Savior-Righteousness, looking to the person and work of Jesus Christ as the means by which we are justified before God, produces gratefulness! Lord, thank you for rescuing me from sin, death, and evil. Lord, I don’t deserve your mercy; thank you! This creates a posture of gratefulness as we look not to ourselves but to Jesus as the source of our righteousness.

Where will you look for your righteousness today? The Savior or Yourself?

May we not trust in ourselves for righteousness but trust solely and completely in our savior, Jesus Christ.


Our Father,

Thank you for your Word. We pray that by your Spirit, Luke 18:9-11 would change us into the likeness of Christ. Our hearts are comparison machines, would you help us not to compare but to look to Jesus as our source of righteousness! Father, we pray this now through The Son and By the Spirit. Amen.

Sundays: 9:30 & 11:00AM