What is the meaning parable Pharisee tax collector

It is a very interesting parable Jesus gave us . We need to understand its meaning . Although we never can understand the bible fully . Maybe God can give us some insight on which lesson we can learn and the Meaning parable Pharisee tax collector . We saw in the last article that Pharisees are not like Jesus .



A Pharisee thinks he is a good person and can gain heaven from his own merit. A Pharisee thinks that there is great goodness in himself . A Pharisee thinks that what he does is enough to gain heaven and even if he worships God . Deep down he believes that he does not need God . Let us see if we can learn some of the Meaning of the parable Pharisee tax collector


The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

LK 18 9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable:

This verse the bible says is directed to a certain class of people . The bible says they are confident that they are good persons . Deep down they believe they do not need God . Yet they worship God , but they love themselves more than God . Meaning parable Pharisee tax collector is a comparison between someone that feels deep down their sinful nature and someone who is blind to his own condition and feels like they are a good person .


The Pharisee in this parable likes to look down on others . They do not see their own condition . Jesus talks about Laodicea as blind to their own condition . They think they are good and in favour with God and they feel like they do not need God and his righteousness . The Pharisee in this story is similar, he feels like he has enough righteousness to not get any from God .


The meaning parable Pharisee tax collector is very important as it tells us about how wicked our hearts can be to not only point the finger to others but also to not see our own defects of character. It is a twofold problem and the which only God can fix. When one spends their time looking at what others are doing they often judge wrong and come to wrong conclusions. As if they cannot see their own wicked condition and think they are good when they are not .



Then how can they judge others correctly? Our judgment is very important . It is not because we judge that we are right. We need Gods wisdom to correctly discern things. Even then our understanding is darkened and only God who is very merciful can judge correctly .


We should not even judge the bible says as we have enough problems of our own to fix in our characters to spend time looking at what others are doing . To find the meaning parable Pharisee tax collector we need to see that God judges very differently than the world . The world thinks those who follow outwardly all requirements are good people . But God can see the heart. The selfishness, the pride, the unloving, unkind spirit . The deception and the dishonesty . The unbelief. These things are what makes someone opposite to who Jesus is. Jesus is meek and lowly.


LK 18 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

Two men went in the temple, this is the state of the modern church . Part of the church is Pharisee part of the church is tax collector. Some think they are good and holy when they are all wrong and defiled. The other part feel their own sinful condition and seek God for righteousness , understanding that they have no righteousness of their own .


LK 18 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.

The Pharisee judged according to society and not according to the bible . This is why he thought himself good he thought that following society rules and fashions had him be a good person . Jesus said

MT 5 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.



Two kinds of righteousness are found in this verse. The righteousness of the Pharisees or of society and the righteousness of God . These are completely different . First of all Pharisee think that because they follow rules they become a good person . Following rules never changed the heart. We have to obey earthly rules but we need to understand that God has a higher standard. It is very ok in this world to be proud and arrogant . For God this is an abomination . It is very offensive for God to see someone who think that what He gives them as a gift, that person acts as if they were God and gave themselves the blessings.


This is one of the reason Pharisee think they are good . It is because they compare themselves to this works standards rather than comparing themselves to the bible . Jesus says no one can enter heaven if their notion of good and evil comes form this society alone. In this society it doe snot teach people to turn the other cheek. It does not teach people to not seek the first place. In fact the opposite is true . In this society forgiveness is not the norm . In this society loving and expecting something in return is very fashionable . The bible says that this is selfishness.


LK 18 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

This Pharisee did works, quite a lot . But did those works received the approval of God ? No The Pharisee gave money to the poor, but the problem was that deep down he thought that he did it from his own power. Not understanding that any good impulse in our hearts come from God alone . Also another meaning parable Pharisee tax collector is that the Pharisee believed that those works were enough for him to gain salvation .



That doing good is what matters when in fact the actions are not who we are . Who we are is what shall be saved in heaven. Someone can do a lot of good deeds but still be selfish, arrogant and unloving . It is true that we can judge someone by their works . But it is not always the case as someone can do things because of his friends, to be seen of people, to be admired, and to gain heaven . This last motive is also a selfish motive.


The person who works to gain heaven also has ulterior motives and the works are not done because they love the person of God . They work to benefit oneself. They work to avoid going to hell . Avoiding going to hell is not a pure motive. It is better than the one who does not care if they go to hell . But the works is not for you to gain salvation. Works should have from motive, you bless others because you love God.


To understand the meaning parable Pharisee tax collector. Both groups work , one group works to save themselves by selfish motives. The other group believes that are saved by grace. They believe they do not have any righteousness. Their works are only done because they love God and others.

LK 18 13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’


This is the right attitude to have , this is the first step for conversion . We can only become converted when we realize that there is nothing good in human beings.