MELPA LUTHERAN CHURCH- EXODUS CONGREGATION, PORT MORESBY,PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Exodus Congregation is one of the Regional Fellowship areas outside of Melpa Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea Head Quarter in Mount Hagen. Exodus Congregation in Port Moresby, the Capital City of Papua New Guinea. It started within a family with few individuals with the strength and Power of the Holi Spirit. It has expanded over a period of ten years and now it has 6 House Prayers at certain suburbs in Port Moresby

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

Bible Readings for this Sunday are taken from following scriptures:
* Jeremiah: 14:7-10,19-22
*2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18;
*Luke 18:9-15
*Psalm 84:1-7

Please read the other scriptures by yourself. We will go together the scripture reading from the book of Luke chapter 18 verses 9 to 15. We will also read further the verses 16 and 17.

Last Sunday's bible  story regarding was from Luke 18: 1-6  the Parable of the Widow and the Judge. This Sunday's bible reading is also a parable Jesus told his disciples. Jesus told this parable to people who are sure of their own goodness and despise others. Jesus told his disciples that there were two men went to the Temple to pray. One was the Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee prayed and said, "I thank you, God, that I am not greedy, dishonest, or an adulterer like others. I thank you that I am not like the tax collector over there.I fast two days a week, and I give you one tenth of all my income."

The tax collector stood at a distance and would not raise his head to heaven, but beat on his breast and said, 'God have pity on me, a sinner!' Jesus told his disciples that the tax collector and not the Pharisee was in right with God when he went home. For those who make themselves great will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be made great.

While Jesus was telling this parable , some people brought their babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. The disciples saw them and scolded them for doing so but Jesus called the children to him and said, "let the children come to me and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Remember this! Whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it."

Bible Discussion
In our real life situation, when people grow older and accumulate wealth or become welkown in societies, people seem to respect them. And those who gain respect somewhat know that they are a bit higher in the community status. They seem to look down on people. During the historical time it is no exception. During the biblical history, the Pharisees were seen as righteous people. Other ordinary people were seen as sinners. So the Pharisees self  claim that they are righteous. Jesus knew that the disciples will fall into that category so he made it clear that , this practice of claiming to be righteous in the eyes of God is not right. When we look at the prayers of the Pharisee and the tax collector, The Pharisee was boasting about himself thinking that he is okay. But the tax collector humbled himself and he declared that he is a sinner, and he asked for mercy.

As christians of today's day and age, we must always never forget that we are all sinners. In no way we can claim that we are righteous in the eyes of God. We do not have any power to cleanse ourselves from our sins. We will only be made well through the Grace of God. So never ever claim that you are righteous and you will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. It is by the Grace of God we may enter the Kingdom of God if we humble ourselves, declare ourselves as sinners and ask for mercy, forgiveness, and have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour and King, then we will surely be made right with God.

Jesus said that, whoever does not receive God's Kingdom like a child will not enter it. Now, this scripture just simply telling us that, we forget the fact that, what status we have in a society, how much knowledge and skills we have in an organisation and you have much recognition. How highly qualified you are in terms of academic, just bring yourself down to a very humble person and be like a child in a church and you will be made right with God.

The Lord be with your spirit.

God's Grace be with you all.
Exodus Youth at Papen Youth Bible Camp 2015





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