The Pharisee and the Tax Gatherer

by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

Jesus also told a parable to some people who were sure of their own goodness and looked down upon others. This parable is that of "The Pharisee and the Tax-Gatherer."

"Two men," said Jesus, "went up to the Temple to pray. One of these men was a Pharisee; and the other was a tax-gatherer. The Pharisee stood up and began praying to himself, not to God, in words like these:

"'O God, I thank thee that I am not like other men--thieves, wrongdoers, and wicked--or even like this tax-gatherer. Twice in every week I eat no food, to show that I am worshipping God; I give to God's house one-tenth of all that I get.'

"But the tax-gatherer stood far away, and would not raise his eyes toward heaven. He beat his breast, saying:

"'O God, have mercy on me and forgive my sins!'

"I tell you," said Jesus, "this tax-gatherer went to his house with his sins forgiven, instead of the Pharisee. For every one who uplifts himself will be brought low; and every one who humbles himself will be lifted up."