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10 “Two men who went into the temple to pray. One was a proud religious leader, the other a despised tax collector. 11–12 The religious leader stood apart from the others and prayed, ‘How I thank you, O God, that I’m not wicked like everyone else. They’re cheaters, swindlers, and crooks—like that tax collector over there. God, you know that I never cheat or commit adultery; I fast from food twice a week and I give you a tenth of all I earn.’

13 “The tax collector stood alone in a corner, away from the Holy Place, and covered his face in his hands, feeling that he was unworthy even to look up to God. Beating his breast,[a] he sobbed with brokenness and tears saying, ‘God, please, in your mercy and because of the blood sacrifice, forgive me,[b] for I am nothing but the most miserable of all sinners!’

14 “Which one of them left for home that day reconciled to God? The humble tax collector, not the religious leader! For everyone who praises himself will one day be publicly humiliated, and everyone who humbles himself will one day be publicly honored and lifted up.”

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Footnotes

  1. 18:13 The Greek verb typto, means “to strike,” or “to strike dead.” It is a violent term also used of the scourging of Jesus.
  2. 18:13 The Greek text uses a word that implies he was saying to God, “Look at me as you look at the blood-sprinkled mercy seat.”

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