Jesus also told this story, aimed at religious people who were sure of their own goodness & who had contempt for everybody else (152).
“Once there were two men who went up to the temple to pray: one was a Pharisee, the other a tax collector.
“The Pharisee stood up front & prayed, ‘I thank you, God, that I am not greedy, not dishonest & not an adulterer — like everybody else. I thank you that I am not like that tax collector back there. I fast two days a week, and I give you one tenth of all my income.’
“But the tax collector stood at the back & wouldn’t even raise his face to heaven. Instead, he beat on his chest and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, for I know I am a sinner!'”
Then Jesus said, “The tax collector, and not the Pharisee, was restored to a right relationship with God that day.
“Everyone who tries to make himself look great before God will be humbled before God, but everyone who humbles himself before God is great forever from God’s perspective.”
(152) Luke 18:9-14