Preached Sunday 27 October, 2019 at Turramurra Uniting Church
Series:Real People, Real Questions
Guest Speaker: Geoff Leslie
Bible Reading: Luke 18: 9-14
I had the most amazing grandfather who was an incredible influence on my faith journey, even though at the time I did not realise it. He was an elder at his church from the age of 16 to the time he died in his early 90s. His lifelong philosophy was “if you couldn’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all”. I cannot recall a single time where I heard him break that rule, get angry or say anything other than encouragement. He was the humblest man I have ever met.
Now I know I fall short of that by a long way, but I try. The Lord knows how trying I am.
So my reflection on Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector is an attempt to unpack the notion that being judgemental can have serious consequences to our personal relationship with Jesus. How could the tax collector make it to heaven when the religious leader couldn’t? To who’s ears were his warning aimed – mine, yours, ours?