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Glad I’m Not Like Them (Cornerstone)

Apr 15, 2018 - Rev Paul Rasmussen

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Discussion Questions

  1. Are you those people in your life? What about in your community?
  2. What are the defining characteristics of the Pharisee and the tax collector in this story?
  3. Which type of self-righteousness are you most prone to?
  4. How might God be inviting you to grow out of your self-righteousness?

Those people.

Who are those people? You know, the ones you talk about in the car, or around the table with friends? The kind of people who are different…maybe even wrong?

This week, we continued The Wrong Way to be Right by looking at how Jesus handled those people, the ones who were cast out from social circles and considered outsiders:

He told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee (in those days, Pharisees were ‘church people’) and the other a tax collector.

The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men: extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector (in otherwise, like those people.) I fast twice a week; I tithe all that I get.’

But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” 

Luke 18:9-14

It’s easy to pick on the Pharisee here, but there are lots of ways to be self-righteous. Which one do you major in?

  1. “I’m better than you” self-righteousness
  2. “I can do it myself” self-righteousness
  3. “That doesn’t apply to me self-righteousness

Dig Deeper

During your First 15, engage with us in our new HPUMC Spring Bible Reading Plan. Check out the study videos for extra context on what you’re reading, and make time to journal in response to the reflection questions!