citizens of the kingdom

3: The Tax Collector

Posted: Thursday, May 29th, 2014
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About Citizens of the Kingdom Series

The Kingdom is to be brought down into earth's anarchy, but what does that look like in our daily, practical life? The answer, which unlocks every provision the Kingdom holds, may surprise you!

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Jesus continued to draw a picture of both the beggar and the Giver.  The widow’s story was given to the disciples.  The next story was given directly to the proud.

(Reading Luke 18:9-14)

He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and viewed others with contempt (NASB).

Two men went up to pray . . .

The Pharisee took his stand ostentatiously and began to pray thus before and with himself: God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of men (Amplified).

Then he listed all the men to whom he was superior, including a tax collector he saw nearby.  His little god of self praised his deeds and flattered his notions. No voice of the True God was heard, and his pompous prayers gained nothing from heaven for he needed nothing from God.

He had no need of God
so he had no God.

God is God only to those who need Him desperately to be God.

But the tax collector, (merely) standing at a distance, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but kept striking his breast, saying, O God, be favorable, (be gracious, be merciful) to me, the especially wicked sinner that I am!

I tell you, this man went down to his home justified (forgiven and made upright and in right standing with God), rather than the other man; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.

The sinner prayed in despair – not self-pity for his lot, but anguish for his sin.  And on him, the Father poured the mercy he required but more, even more grace.  The sinful beggar was received but also given the righteousness he painfully lacked.

The widow was utterly without protection.  The tax collector was destitute of righteousness.  Both, as shameless paupers, received Kingdom outpouring.  The beggar who will beg evokes the God who gives and no need is outside God’s Kingdom assets.

Copyright © 2003 Martha Kilpatrick, Citizens of the Kingdom

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