Things I Heard In Church: “…he despised people not like himself.”
Jesus told a parable to some people who trusted in themselves for their own righteousness, a group who treated others with contempt. Jesus said,
A Pharisee and a corrupt tax collector went into the temple to pray.
The Pharisee prayed: God, thank you that I’m not like other people, extortioners, the unjust, adulterers, or this corrupt tax collector here in the temple with me now. I fast, I tithe, and I have it all together.
But the tax collector wouldn’t even lift his eyes from the floor. In anguish he said: God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Then Jesus said, I’m telling you, it was the tax collector who left the temple justified before God, not the Pharisee. Exalt yourself and you’ll be humbled, but humble yourself and you’ll be exalted. (Luke 18:9-14)
“The Pharisee uses the law to define who he is, and who others are as well. …And the result was that he despised people not like himself.” (Lyda)
There are two types of people in this parable: the self righteous and the broken.
But like all of us, they’re both sinners.
From Paul Lyda’s teaching, Contempt and Righteousness, St. Matthew Lutheran, 3/6/2016