Certain trusted… in themselves

pharisee-publican-praying-jLuke 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

I do understand the context of this verse, and the primary application – and it is a very good one. We understand the pride of the Pharisee, and the humility of the publican. We know that the publican was justified before God, rather than the “righteous” Pharisee. However, a phrase stood out to me this morning, and it can be tied in to many other parables and accounts in the Gospels. Scripture uses the phrase “trusted in themselves” in reference to those standing around, listening to Jesus at the time. When people came to Jesus, He either saved or healed them because of their faith in Him, or He sent them away because they trusted in themselves. There are multiple accounts of this.

As I think of how this applies to me, I am reminded of Jesus’ desire for us to trust in Him alone, not just for salvation, but for living. I think of how many times I “trust myself” as I prepare a sermon, or prepare for a day, or prepare for a ministry endeavor. How many times do we start with a half-hearted prayer for help, or for God’s spirit, His power, or for His guidance? Yes, we’ve trusted Him for salvation, but that’s just the beginning. Might we recognize our need for God in our lives, families, and ministries, and “seek Him early.”

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