Two men went up to the temple to pray. The first one stood in the temple with his eyes towards heaven listing the good things that he had done for God. Second man stood with his face downcast, his eyes looking at his feet, he beat his breast. And in Luke Chapter 18 we hear him say:
God, be merciful to me, a sinner.
What’s the difference between the two men? The first man thinks that he is good and right before God. That he has done things that are pleasing to God and thereby earned God’s favor.
The second man acknowledges that he is not right before God. He has not lived the life that God desires and so he is repentant. He beat his breast in sorrow over his sin and simply pleaded for God’s mercy. He knew that he had nothing to offer God. He could only beg that God would be merciful to him.
Jesus told us that that man went away justified. That man went away right with God.
How is your relationship with God? Are you right with him? Do you think that you’ve lived a good enough life to keep him happy? Or are you like the second man? Acknowledging your sin and sorry that you had ever done them. Pleading for God’s mercy.
God is mercy to sinners because he sent his one and only Son to live and die to take away their sins. God is merciful to you. He sent Jesus to live and die for you. You too can be justified. May God lead you to acknowledge and be sorry over your sins and cling to Jesus your Savior. Amen.