The Only Way Up Is Down
Studying Biblical history and literature was situated on the 6th floor of a new 20 story high Arts blog and to get to your department. You wanted to walk to the stairs or its had a wonderful system cool the patternist if you want to know why it was cool. That asked me afterwards. Which was a kind of chain of 2-person cabins progressing in the club by progressing in just two people and they went very slowly and if you wanted to go up you went to the left someone and you just walked in or jumping with confidence and it went up and when you came to your flow, you just got hacked again and it rotated and in this huge big circle from the top to the bottom. However, busy times we discovered we had a problem on the lower floors because if you wanted to go any higher a busy times all the cabins were full. So those are white round that's in the way around it was to get into in the empty ones which were going down into a down whenever you go down and down to the basement. There's a big sign saying this does not tip upside down when you go to the doctor. So you went up to the other side of everyone follow what I'm saying? Country to what? You might think the only way Up Is Down The Only Way Up Is Down and on a very much more important subject Jesus Took. The only way up to get to God is down and that's our thing for today. He's had Jesus put it for all of those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted. The only way, subside down world of God's kingdom with so contrary to public and religious opinion then and now the Jesus chose several of a story is called Parables to illustrate this point the stories with the sting in the tale t a l a t i n
I'm one of them is the next section of Luke's gospel will be making our way through the Bible through the New Testament account of the life of Jesus. There are four of them in the New Testament Matthew Mark Luke and John we're making our way slowly through the third one written by dr. Cool Luke. All right, and we making slowly making our way through and today we come to the parable of the sower Parable 26 vs call the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector nephew got one of these Bibles page 105 to 18. That's a big bold numbers. And then the Little Numbers verse 9. It's just 6 vs. And I think wherever she is Elaine's really thank you very much. UK Okay, Justin Bieber Confident of their own righteousness and look down on everyone else Jesus told this parable. Two men went up to the temple to pray 105c and the other a tax collector. The fattest he's did by himself and plead God. I thank you that I am not like other people robbers evildoers adulterers or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get are the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven but beat his breast and said go to have mercy on me a sinner. I tell you that this month rather than the other wait home Justified before goat for all those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
So this is story about two men. Two men went up to the temple to pray one Pharisee the other a tax collector when Jesus told his story his Heroes. This is why you back nearly 2,000 years ago when they said Pharmacy in touch like to everybody that knew who a Pharisee was and how they fit in society and Hewitt Tax Collector was and how they fit in society unfortunate today. Both of these people probably have different reputations Perez.
We can easily missed the point. So let us begin biking soak in the dictionary. Watch the Pharisee while you look at Benny dictionary. They give two definitions Pharisee one a member of an ancient Jewish teaching strict observance of Jewish traditions, and the second one is a self-righteous or hypocritical person.
Is largely because of the teaching of Jesus that people think Cyrus he's only in terms of the second definition.
Self-righteous or hypocritical person is because of these parables in the way that Jesus spoke about the new definition one applied. A Pharisee was a member of an ancient Jewish sect teaching strict observance of Jewish Traditions, the Pharisees with strict religious people people looked at them because they were the top Elite of religious observance that with people who strove to obtain the Lord that God has given to the people of Israel through Moses all those centuries before so they had a very high reputation. So what about the other one? What about text leg to swell if you look in the dictionary imposed by a government in order to raise revenue what we all know that we still have the money two things are certain in life death and taxes. And don't you work for the Inland Revenue, I guess the most was there a necessary evil if your text late to today. I want to preach on this and there was a
when Jesus told this story go back to the original context when Jesus told his story there are other definitions of tax collectors. Tax Collectors were regarded as collaborators when Jesus spoke. This story is real is occupied by the greatest Empire and the Roman Empire and the rooms wanted to collect taxes. So they text everybody for everything. I'd rather do it themselves employed people to call them text from is actually to find out and go and get the income from people all the local population. So you went very popular. If you were the guy I went to come around the Nashville Israelite neighbors for some income be even worse than the older Romans were interested in is getting the amount of the tax collector would do with keep adding on the mounts. You are the Roman 200 shekels. He'll say it's a hundred fifty shekels or whatever the denomination was in those days. So they were his first race is extortion. Is it thieves?
So these were the two people in the story. Let me put it this way if this was not a parable pantomime. All right, when Jesus told the stories say two men went to the temple to pray a Pharisee. and the tax collector
So when Jesus told his story about going to the temple the religious place to pray. everybody knew Where they fix a detached retina first thing they knew what the outcome in answer to that. Press would be the service see if you want to put it this way was the highest rung of the ladder to get to God the tax collector was even on the Bottom Rung at all.
But everyone not least it to mention for sure cuz we go through the parable itself and see the outcome. So what I want to try and do it's just you trace the trajectory of this Narrative of the story. All right, there are three stages in the story. OK. It's really simple. Okay, these two men go to the temple to pray so stage one going up. 2 minutes that Jesus went up to the temple to pray. Why did you go up to the temple to pray because the temple in Jerusalem was situated on Mount Zion. It was the highest spot in the nation of Israel has the highest smoke. So whenever you went to pray you always went up and in fact, they were also some stairs going up to the temple. So you went up to the temple to pray the temple is not there is no emotion is real the picture that of the Temple Mount which is a Muslim Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount but in the days Jesus spoke, that's what kind of reconstruction and what it might have look like on the screen there. Nokia 6 running from the place of worship then was not in a cave not in the basement somewhere. It was up. and the physical location reflected if you're like a metaphorical reality that God is somehow up above human beings all over the world people instinctively intuitively all the way that there is such a being as God above and beyond this someone different great to better higher than his and some of the people to pray
Used it to the highest geographical point in the nation or land inside of you know, the Bible while in the early days to Bible way back in the first book of Genesis people try to build a child together to go and their ancient ruins of similar places to call ziggurats if you're interested in becoming and those state is still the case today and many many years ago. When I was living in Nepal truck going up a hill from Thief book at Mountain. It was so high and as usual I was way ahead of all the rest of the group when I go to the top of this hill it was deserted Windswept of the future and the temple right on the top of this place. No one inside but there's a Temple place of worship in this story. They went up to the temple to pray not your state champ champ Alyssa temple built by King Heritage printing press the Jews the Bible the record of God's dealings with people describes how he chose your particular Race 2. People of Israel and place them in their own land and we did not land is selected a particular place. Where is people could communicate with him the temple on Mount Zion in Jerusalem is the place where you met with God in order to pray. So the story tells us these two men went up to the temple to pray now in the temple sacrifices were offered a Lie by the priests. And in fact number to Everyday one early in the morning after Dawn one in the suit of late afternoon after 3, and when that happened they sacrificed a lamb to the sins of the people and then they cast incense on to the ultra and the smoke went up when people enter the temple precincts, they could see the smoke Rising they could smell the incense and then you sacrifice has been off for now the gates open. It's time to come and worship God it's time to speak to go to bring our concerns before him that because the door is open. So these two men go up to the temple then to pray
how many discover not only are they very different than who they are, but they're very different in how they pray. So stay with the stories. We got the Bible stand in front of you notice the second movement in this terrible two men have to pray stage one going up stage 2 looking down. Both of them. If you read carefully look down as they pray the Pharisee looks down on everyone else with a sense of self-congratulation God. He says I thank you that I'm not like other people the Pharisees for their self confidence as he praised. This is not indicated by the fact that he stood to pray in those days people stood to pray. Runner is revealed in what he says free stood by himself apart from the rest.
I need phrase nuggets by himself in a bathroom self.
He says I'm superior to everyone else in comparison with everyone else in that perspective. He's not like other men. Is super duty to other people is expressed in what he doesn't doesn't do and what he just do this isn't a rubber. I'm not enabled but I'm not a tax collector. I'm not in the distance on the on the edge of the temple courts. Listen to what he says. He just do the Lord of Moses. I mention told God's people they were supposed to sacrifice and that was supposed to fast abstain from food on one day of the year school Yom Kippur celebrated by the people of Israel the day of atonement once a year. The Pharisees went completely over twice a week of Mondays and Thursdays. The Lord of Moses said you should try that means give a tenth of your income of grain oil and wine. The pharmacy said not use that I'm going to try it on everything. I eat outside, carrots are my Peas on the shelf that put on my food because surely God will be interested in that and pleased with that. So there is praying about himself and what he does it's a reputation is all the things he's done what you believe will bring him favor with God for Shirley got marks on a company must be near the top somewhere. He suddenly He sent me in the past Zone in fight top of the class. Sidney High then other people to take a dispatch clerk just now that's just pulled through mowing. Few of us. I think would be bold enough to put on shelves at the top of the motor league, but I'll be surprised if any of us would put ourselves at the Buckland you see the thing is there's always someone who's worse than us. The 20th century version of the tax collector. That's why people live detectable in used when they always put on someone who's terribly bad, you know, it's been sending terrible because we looked at thing. Well, I'm not as bad as that.
There are lots of people below is he from this that might be one or two really good people, you know, the Mother Teresa person above has, you know, how high up that if we compare ourselves arrested population. I've never done anything really bad and I give to charity good quotes. Is that my good neighbor I help with this where I can but the bottom line is this as long as I can look down on some other people then I can look up to God with confidence that he would approve of me. That's what the Pharisee feel is what many people think.
Contrast this with the prayer of the tax collector the Pharisees full of self-congratulation the tax collectors full of self-abasement and he cries out God be merciful to me to send we see this in the activity of the tax collector which is different from the Pharisee. He stands you to distance farthest away from the author away from the crowds. He will not even raise his eyes to Heaven. He doesn't look down on anyone else. You just looked down on the ground. He stands with the distance. He will not even raise his eyes to Heaven. He constantly it says beat his breast because the heart was believed to be the source of human goodness and usually fatness and he cries at these Prairie simple and heartfelt. He says God have mercy on me as soon as you text Ashley says God be merciful to me The Sinner He sees himself not in comparison with anyone else. He's no under No Illusion about himself and that drives him to God in Desperate prayer while the first use complacent because you can pay some stuff for the other people to text collector. He's desperate for he's not consent to compare himself with anyone else. But Ron 3 focus is on himself in his own problem. He realizes he stands before God guilty without excuse. He has no mitigating factors to plead he throws himself on the mercy of God as he expresses. His desperate need God have mercy on me. He realizes he stands guilty before God and he's only focus that God might be merciful. And that is why I took him to the temple Reno's it sacrifices have been made for his sin. Is it possible that you might be forgiven? He is guilty before God and only God can remove his guilt so that we have them two different people to different press now the important point to the stories this which president got here which credit God answer and he has the final sting in the tail the final movement of the parable the reversal of all that Jesus that he resumed reason we might think going up looking down and finally upside down. Is the sting in the tale? I tell you this man says Jesus that is the tax collector and the Pharisee went home Justified before God and now here's the punchline to everyone for all those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Jesus uses very strong to him. Siri says I tell you it's
Express by the word Justified justified in Sherwood from the lower courts Jesus gives God's verdict on these two men. The tax collector says Jesus is declared innocent the babies passive. That means something is done for us by other people and it's in the perfect tense. If you could use a bit of Grandma expressing a Xanax that has been completed once for all he's acquitted not guilty to finally goes down and leaves the temple estate this before God has been changed. He's now in the right standing before God free Sim has been forgiven. His guilt has been removed. He humbled himself before God and God, is that for exalted him, but now he's in the right relationship with God knows our humble themselves will be exalted The Only Way Up Is Down. The Pharisee and contrast the same relationship to God still convinced of his own righteousness still comparing him so favorably what does it he still estranged from God knows and he's guilty Those who exalt themselves humbled what was his side and his own goodness before good. If you look back at the text how it begins with told why this parable to some who would comfort in that own righteousness and look down and everybody else Jesus told his parable. Another word righteousness just stay with me a bit complicated language for the word righteousness and Justified are from the same root word.
We are the reason why you see coming to God. We on the Reliant own goodness of self-justification. Or abandon any such attempt and throw ourselves on the mercy of God seeking his justification.
At the challenge of the story how much finished the transistor is obvious and I might like the Pharisee or a mile at the tax collector. Are you come to God this morning? Are you aware that you have no marriage to play before God.
How do we pray when we approach good? You can have to leave this you can leave this place. Just if I may be of the opposite. Maybe you say if only you knew the things I've done and that I'm guilty of you would not believe it. I'm good, but surely not forget what I did that maybe some of the immediately Springs to your mind. You think that is the thing that God is surely never going to forgive me for Did it rain from God? I want to Simply of you a message of great. Hope. Simply this whatever you've done whoever you are. There is a way you can be put right with God and forgiving. What do you need to do? You say simply this you need to pray. God have mercy on me a sinner.
They wouldn't miss it for that isn't unusual weather Cherokee took him out the words and their reason but it really is important to understand it if you were here in this series you remember that little 10 lepers who cried out to Jesus have mercy on me. It's not the same word here. That's a general word for messy. The way there is a very unusual but it means to conciliate someone to a pee someone that you've offended.
Unlike the Pharisee the tax collector knows that his problem is not that he's better or worse than other people but that he's offended God by the way, he has lived and what he has done. So only God can forgive him and show him Messi interested in this world is only found in a few of the places. The verb is only found in one of the place in the New Testament and the New Testament book of Hebrews for the sins of the people. He paid the debt turned aside Goats Gruff. The nun from the same root is found in the little lecture in the New Testament written to Christians in Rome and finish with this one and the right to says this is love not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his son and he's the word again as the atoning sacrifice for sins the way that God could forgive us and turn aside his rough. This is a win for matching is the basis of why we're here. Hope city is a church North hopefully of self-righteous people over here because we married in some way you so there's me things about if you want to talk about being involved in this church. I don't think they'll ask you how good you are tell us all the good things you've done and if you high in V, we might let you in the door of Hope City. That's why we meet every week at 5 break Brandon and we drink wine come along this evening because we need to keep coming back and reminding ourselves. We're always in danger of slipping into thinking we have back to send other people because what we have done reading an article this week by a pastor of a church, who said I am a recovering Pharisee,
We need to be careful that we don't slip back into that way of thinking.
Let me know story in Luke's gospel. His is the final wonderful thing. Those who exalt themselves will be humbled. OSHA humble themselves will be exalted.
As we trace the story through her up to chapter 18 now to the end. Eva Lutz gospel will discover the Jesus puts his into practice himself. Jesus humbled himself into the lecture in the New Testament says he humbled himself and became obedient to death even death on the cross to pay the price for a forgiveness. Then it says God that for is exalted him. I was just humble themselves will be exalted giving him the name of Jesus every knee shall bow. Wow, Lincoln declared that my rising from the dead and this is the message of hope. That's why we called hope so because you hope to you whoever you are, whatever you've done. to Jesus we can experience God's mercy know God's forgiveness be put right with God, but always remember always remember the only way up. He's down at your poetry moment. Think about that then they will take over and we'll answer some questions. So David.
Gracious God thank you that there is a way of forgiveness. have mercy have a new relationship with you. Through what you're seeing Jesus did when he died on the cross when you raised him from the dead.
Thank you that many of us can look back on that day or occasion. When we first realize that and came to the foot of the cross and found mercy and forgiveness. But every day we need to know that.
And it's not by marriage, but by Grace your grace alone, so we thank you for that. Pray that each one of his here may go from this place down the stairs from hopes. It's justified in the right relationship with you and be praying Jesus name.