Also, He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were RIGHTEOUS, and DESPISED OTHERS:” (Luke 18:9)

Jesus is about to expose self-righteous people with a parable. “Self-righteous” people think that they are good enough to stand before God. They trust in their own goodness to find favor with God and get them to heaven. But the scriptures clearly teach that all are sinners, and none are righteous in themselves. But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6, NKJV) (See also Ecclesiastes 7:20, Ps 130:3; Romans 3:10 & 20, 6:23) 

Those who see themselves as good before God or “righteous” in His eyes are either self-deceived or they are having the fuller understanding that they are righteous only because Christ has made them righteous. You are either trusting in your righteousness or Christ’s. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV)

Another characteristic of self-righteous people is that they, “despise others”. Self-righteous people usually judge others they consider not as righteous or “right” as they are. And this causes them to despise, look down upon or even loathe others. This is done all the time in legalistic circles. People look down on others because they eat foods that they would never eat or observe holidays that they would never observe. This is a “looking down your nose” at someone who “has it all wrong” because you “have it all right. Not only is this happening in the religious world, but it is happening all around us today in the “cancel culture”.

Who do you look down on or despise because they are wrong about something (in your opinion)? This happens in religion (legalism/cults) This happens in politics (politically correct thinking) The mask wearers despise then none mask wearers. (and vice versa) The vaxxers despise the none vaxxers. (and vice versa) On and on it goes! Christians, repent! Love one another! Value one another! In the Apostle Paul’s day, there were also issues that divided the church. Believers were divided over dietary laws and proper worship days and more. Read about it for yourselves in Romans 14:1-13.

Where do you think you are right, and all those other people are wrong? Who do you look down on because they are foolishly believing a lie (in your opinion)? Repent and love one another! Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8, NLT)

Pastor Mike