Jesus Gives the Parable of the Pharisee and Publican

Luke 18:9–14

9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Elder Dale G. Renlund said:

“. . . [I]n our lifelong quest to follow Jesus Christ, His example of kindness to those who sin is particularly instructive. We, who are sinners, must, like the Savior, reach out to others with compassion and love. Our role is also to help and bless, lift and edify, and replace fear and despair with hope and joy.

“The Savior rebuked individuals who recoiled from others they viewed as unclean and who self-righteously judged others as more sinful than they [see Matt. 23:13]. That is the pointed lesson the Savior directed to those who ‘trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others.’ He spoke this parable:

“‘Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

“The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

“‘I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

“‘And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.’

“Jesus then concluded, ‘I tell you, this man [the publican] went down to his house justified rather than the other [the Pharisee]: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted’ [Luke 18:9–14].

“The message for us is clear: a repenting sinner draws closer to God than does the self-righteous person who condemns that sinner.”

(“Our Good Shepherd,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 31.)

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