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A Pharisee and a Tax Collector

Jesus told a story to some people who thought they were better than others and who looked down on everyone else:

10 Two men went into the temple to pray.[a] One was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.[b] 11 The Pharisee stood over by himself and prayed,[c] “God, I thank you that I am not greedy, dishonest, and unfaithful in marriage like other people. And I am really glad that I am not like that tax collector over there. 12 I go without eating[d] for two days a week, and I give you one tenth of all I earn.”

13 The tax collector stood off at a distance and did not think he was good enough even to look up toward heaven. He was so sorry for what he had done that he pounded his chest and prayed, “God, have pity on me! I am such a sinner.”

14 Then Jesus said, “When the two men went home, it was the tax collector and not the Pharisee who was pleasing to God. If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored.”

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Footnotes

  1. 18.10 into the temple to pray: Jewish people usually prayed there early in the morning and late in the afternoon.
  2. 18.10 tax collector: See the note at 3.12.
  3. 18.11 stood over by himself and prayed: Some manuscripts have “stood up and prayed to himself.”
  4. 18.12 without eating: See the note at 2.37.