The Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican [Tax Collector]
Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else:
10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector.
11 The self-righteous one stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector!
12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’
14 I tell you, this sinner, not the self-righteous one, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Parables are powerful "word-pictures" that are meant to be engrafted into our thinking...as mental pictures do control our thought-life.
That's where the "imagination" gets involved. The imagination allows mental exploration of the past, present, future. It is the ability to see pictures and images in the "movie theater" of the mind. The imagination is the "workshop" of the human mind. It is the only thing in the world we have complete control over. That's why GOD takes great interest of what goes on there, and judges what we allow to grow there - Genesis 6.5
The Publican was "forgiven"
What was the problem then...
"I say unto you, This man went down to his house justified rather than the other."
On the other hand -
Jesus says of them "they have their reward". They have no hope until their pride crashes into "ashes".
Matthew 5.3-4"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." These people know their need of GOD's transformation and forgiveness is overwhelming...
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