And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:Luke 18:9-17
Notice the audience. The point of the parable comes in clear when we understand who Jesus was striving to talk to about what kind of prayer God accepts. Who was the audience? He spake “unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others”. Often the ones that think they are righteous and have no sin are the ones who despise others that they perceive have sin.
We have a clue as to what is coming because we have been studying Luke these last few weeks. The lawyer that asked “who is my neighbor?”, the priest and Levite that walked past the Samaritan, the older brother in the tale of the compassionate father, and Simon the Pharisee that invited Jesus to his home, have all served as examples as people who see themselves as better than everyone else, and that have despised those around them.
Isn’t it ironic that they the self-righteous think they are right while they harbor superiority over those around them? They love themselves too much, while being unloving to those around them. This is an issue. Whenever I am self-righteous it usually spills over into a lack of love for my neighbor.
If you have any attitude of despising those around you today, check your heart for self-righteousness.