The Francis Asbury Society

How’s Your Posture (Part 2)

Posted on | October 29, 2010 | Comments Off on How’s Your Posture (Part 2)

By Rachel Coleman

Scene #2: “I’m so not OK!” When Jesus finished Scene 1 of his parable in Luke 18:91-14, his listeners were probably nodding their heads. Jesus’ description of a good, religious person probably sounded pretty much like their own accepted understanding how of a good, religious person ought to walk and talk!

Jesus couldn’t have chosen a better representative for turning the story on its head! “Tax collectors” were often foreigners and outsiders; they were almost always tainted by accusations of greed, and universally hated; they were at the far end of the spectrum from the good religious folk. From his first appearance on the scene, the second man provides a stark and startling contrast to the first. Like the good, upright person in Scene 1, this man also knows things, but they are very different things:

1. This unscrupulous businessman is apparently suffering under no illusions about his own character; he has no expectation that God will be pleased with him. He knows exactly who he is, self-identifying as “a sinner.”

2. He remains at a distance from the altar, because he knows exactly who God is, the Holy One, and he respects the holiness.

3. Recognizing the great gap between his own sinfulness and God’s perfect holiness, he stands in a posture of utter humility and grief (head bowed, beating his chest). The content of his prayer is a plea for mercy; he knows exactly what he needs from the Lord of the universe.

How’s your prayer posture? Is the “knowing” that motivates your prayer more like the first man’s or like that of the second one?


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