The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

To some who were confident of their own righteousness(A) and looked down on everyone else,(B) Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray,(C) one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself(D) and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast(E) twice a week and give a tenth(F) of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast(G) and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’(H)

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”(I)

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The Story of the Tax Man and the Pharisee

9-12 He told his next story to some who were complacently pleased with themselves over their moral performance and looked down their noses at the common people: “Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax man. The Pharisee posed and prayed like this: ‘Oh, God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, crooks, adulterers, or, heaven forbid, like this tax man. I fast twice a week and tithe on all my income.’

13 “Meanwhile the tax man, slumped in the shadows, his face in his hands, not daring to look up, said, ‘God, give mercy. Forgive me, a sinner.’”

14 Jesus commented, “This tax man, not the other, went home made right with God. If you walk around with your nose in the air, you’re going to end up flat on your face, but if you’re content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself.”

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And to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despised others, he spoke also this parable:

10 Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

11 The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican.

12 I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess.

13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner.

14 I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather than the other: because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.

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Being Right with God

Jesus told this ·story [parable] to some people who ·thought they were very good [were confident of their own righteousness] and ·looked down on [scorned; despised] everyone else: 10 “Two men went up to the Temple [courts] to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector [C despised by their fellow Jews because they worked for the hated Romans and were notorious for extortion]. 11 The Pharisee ·stood alone and prayed [or stood and prayed about himself], ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—thieves, ·cheaters [evildoers; unrighteous people], adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week [C Pharisees commonly fasted on Monday and Thursday], and I ·give one-tenth of [pay tithes on] everything I get!’

13 [L But] The tax collector, standing at a distance, would not even ·look up [L raise his eyes] to heaven. But he beat on his chest [C a sign of sorrow and remorse] and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, when this man went home, he was ·right with God [justified], ·but the Pharisee was not [L rather than that (other) man]. [L Because] All who ·make themselves great [exalt themselves] will be made humble, but all who make themselves humble will be ·made great [exalted].”

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