Deserving? (Luke 18)

Almost all the stories in today’s reading (Luke 18) contrast people who think they deserve something and people who think they deserve nothing. Jesus tells the parable about the Pharisee who thinks he’s better, and the tax collector who is just desperate for mercy. There are little children who want to be around Jesus and adults who think Jesus shouldn’t be bothered. There’s a Rich Ruler who thinks he’s earned eternal life, and later a blind beggar who cries out, “Have mercy on me!”

So which are you? Deserving or not deserving? Inadequate or adequate? Expecting reward or desperate for mercy? In all the stories, the person who thinks they deserve something gets nothing, and the person who thinks they deserve nothing gets a pleasant surprise.

By the way, I think this is one of the best things about church planting. It puts you in a position where you feel very inadequate, realize you can’t succeed on your own, and have to totally lean on God. And that’s a very good place to be.