Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

The Lord and His adversaries

- Chapter 164 -
Before the inn of a tax collector. The story of the Pharisee and the tax collector.

fter My prophecy we then continued walking, silently and with a hasty pace. We soon came on the hill and saw from there very closely the little village that I had indicated at first.
So we reached it quickly and easily, and we rested before an inn of which the owner was a tax collector at the same time. This one asked if we were strangers or residents, meaning to say Jews.
And I said to him: "Since you yourself are a Jew, you surely will see at us that we are no strangers. Actually your wife is a Greek, although she wears Jewish clothing, but these people who are with me, are Jews, although some of them are wearing Greek clothing."
Now the tax collector looked surprised and said: "Nobody has ever seen You in this remote region, then how do You know that my dear wife is a Greek?"
I said: "I still know a lot more about you and your wife, about your 2 children who are twins, and also about your house and about the whole village, but if you knew who it is who is now speaking with you, you would say: 'Lord, stay with me, for the day is coming to an end."
After these words of Mine the tax collector was even more surprised and said: "Friend, You are an amazing person. You are a fortuneteller or an Essene or even a true prophet. For otherwise You surely could have impossibly known that my wife is a Greek and that we really have only 2 children who are indeed twins. Would You not like to come into my house with Your companions and take a little refreshment? I think that certainly many things can be known from You that can be of great benefit."
I said: "But you have guests in the house and there is not much room inside. Besides, I am not exactly a friend of your local Pharisees, scribes, priests and apparent pious people. Therefore, I rather stay outside."
Now the tax collector was even more amazed, for I also told him what kind of guests were in his house. Upon this, he went into the house himself and said to the present guests that a very remarkable group of people had just arrived and that there was One who, despite being a stranger, was better acquainted with secret things than many a resident.
The tax collector had hardly said that when all who were in the house stood up and hurried outside to see us - and especially Me - and also to ask questions.
One of them, a retired Pharisee, who was really proud about his honesty and piousness, said to Me: "Just listen, friend, the innkeeper of this inn has told us that You know secret things, and also, although You are a stranger, are better acquainted with the things in this village and this region than a resident. Just tell me now who I am and what my character is like."
I said: "So that you and still several others who are just like you and who pretend to be pious and righteous, may see that I surely know you all, I want to tell you very briefly a little incident of your lives. Since you think you are pious and righteous, but are despising other people of whom you are judging that they are not like you, you are indeed going to the feasts in Jerusalem, bring the prescribed offerings to the temple, and in this manner you are justifying yourselves in the eyes of the priests of the temple.
So at the feast of Easter of this year an old Pharisee who considered himself to be pious and righteous went to the temple, as well as a tax collector.
The Pharisee walked very close to the offering altar in order to be looked at by several prominent people and to be noticed. He prayed for himself, and actually quite aloud, as follows: 'God, I thank You that I am not like many other people, like thieves, robbers, unrighteous ones, adulterers, and also not like that tax collector who traveled with me. For I fast twice a week and as a Pharisee I even give one tenth of everything that I have. So I also keep the commandments of Moses and have moreover kept the regulations of the temple in high esteem. Give me, o God, the mercy, that also in future times I may remain in this righteousness and be sinless and may finally also leave this world in this manner.'
But the tax collector kept some distance away from the offering altar and dared not even to lift up his eyes, but he beat his chest and said: 'O Lord, be forgiving and merciful to me, a sinner who is not worthy to lift up my eyes to Your sanctuary.'
Who do you think left the temple as really justified in the eyes of God: the Pharisee, who exalted himself, or the tax collector who humbled down himself before God?"
Then some of them who surely noticed that I brought this image into connection with the old Pharisee, because they knew him very well because of his frequent boasting and praising of himself before those who considered themselves also as pious and righteous, said: "Friend, only God can judge about this, whose all seeing eye investigates heart and kidneys of man. We as man cannot pass a definite judgment on that. Since You as stranger who know also this story as it has indeed happened this way, must also tell us who of the two has left the temple justified before God."
I said: "O, I surely can give you this pleasure. I say to you: this tax collector went justified out of the temple, for he humbled down himself and he faithfully and truthfully confessed his guilt in his heart before God, and so he returned home justified rather than the Pharisee. Whoever will exalt himself will be humbled down, and whoever will humble down himself, will be exalted."