I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found the game of Clue to be quite interesting. There’s something about a murder mystery that has always piqued my interest. My favorite TV show is NCIS, and I regularly get roasted by people my age for liking the show. I loved Daniel Craig in Knives Out. I can quickly get into a long novel that’s shrouded in mystery and action. In any of these films, books, or shows, it often becomes evident pretty quickly who the good and the bad guys are.
In today’s verse, two men went to the Temple to pray, but only one went with the correct posture and heart. Proud of who he was and thankful he wasn’t like all of the other sinners, the Pharisee left not being in right relationship with the Father. In contrast, broken and ashamed of his sinful behavior, the tax collector went home justified with God because of his repentance and acknowledgment of his need for mercy.
One of the most surprising aspects of the gospel is that Jesus was quick to condemn the religious leaders of the time. They seemed like the good guys, but Jesus came bearing a very different message. He came and said that those who claimed to be righteous and better than others were, in fact, not in a right relationship with God. They were actually unrighteous because they claimed their education, position, and experience was what made them right with God.
What a plot twist!
Let’s get real for a second. Who are you in this story? If you, like myself, are guilty of thinking of others as less than ourselves at times because of their mistakes, shortcomings, and failures, ask God for forgiveness and be honest in prayer with the Father today for the places where we all need His grace and mercy.