The Pharisee and the Publican, # 7.
Scripture: Luke 18:10-14.
I would like to make one final comment on the subject of ‘the Pharisee’. It is a point of clarification.When I mentioned Paul being a Pharisee, we indicated that Paul claimed to be a Pharisee on a number of occasions. Now I would not like you to think that Paul gloried in his former links with that evil group of men.In Acts 23:6 Paul said: “Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.” Now he made this claim, not because he was proud of that former association but he saw that making the claim would throw his opponents into confusion, see 7-10.He mentions his links with the Pharisees in Acts 26:5 and again he is advancing this fact as part of a ploy to confuse his enemies.Nowhere does Paul indicate more clearly what he thought of Pharisaism after his conversion than in Philippians 3:4-8. The word ‘dung’ means literally ‘a thing worthless and detestable.’ Today, we will make a start on considering just what sort of character the Publican was according to the record of the Bible.They had shown a readiness to heed John the Baptist.“Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you,” Luke 3:12-13. How wise to ask what to do! They showed a spirit of repentance, verse 3!