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The Jesus Prayer

October 21, 2007

The Pharisee and the tax collector > Luke 18.9-14

Two men went into the temple to pray….(This parable starts like a bar joke)… One left right in God’s eyes. The other left right in his own. The first man with a huge superiority complex, prays “God, thank you that I am not like….” reinforcing with every syllable the chasm that exists between the haves and the have nots. Then it gets personal. “Oh and God, thank you so much that I am not like this wretched toll collecting traitor who is going to rot in hell for all his sins against you and your chosen ones,” all the while thinking “Who let this scum into the temple anyway!” The other man knew who he was and didn’t try to hide it in God’s presence. He knew he was scum but he couldn’t get another job so he took this one. He knew he worked for the wrong people but they were the ones that allowed him to pay his bills and feed his family. He knew he didn’t do all the rituals that were required to earn him eternal life. So he had only one hope, one prayer: “Mercy!” He knew from his limited knowledge of Scripture that God is merciful. But he also is a God of justice. He had only one play to make… admit who he was and beg for mercy. So he blows on the dice for good luck and sends them off into the dark with this simple prayer hoping against hope. And even though he doesn’t know it yet, it worked… “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 21, 2007 6:19 pm

    “A wretched, poor, and helpless worm, On Thy kind arms I fall”

    The gravestone of William Carey.

  2. October 23, 2007 2:22 am

    dude, been too long, give me a call. and out of nowhere, i decided to blog again.

    peace,

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