Saturday, Mar. 19
The contrast between the Pharisee and the Tax Collector reveals the value of knowledge. Here was a Pharisee who was well versed in Scripture (our Old Testament). He no doubt knew far more than the tax collector in terms of revealed truth. But he missed the key message of the Old Testament: sinners need a redeemer. The tax collector was so aware of his sin problem and the inability to do anything about it that he simply cried out to God for mercy. That’s where the good news comes in. Knowing about sin and judgment from the Old Testament is a start. Knowing about God’s provision in the New Testament is the second part. The Old testament reveals the problem. The New Testament reveals the solution. But knowledge per se is still not enough. How one responds to knowledge is crucial. It’s a thing of the heart. When the heart is right, there is humility and honesty. When the heart is not right, it is selfish and will skew the truth. The Pharisee and the tax collector both had knowledge. The tax collector took advantage of it; the Pharisee defaulted to maintaining his pride. The tax collector exhibited wisdom; the Pharisee did not.