B. Ward Powers
bwpowers at optusnet.com.au
Sat Sep 8 17:09:58 EDT 2001
I have been following with interest the lively discussion about
>>hO FARISAIOS STAQEIS TAUTA PROS hEAUTON PROSHUCETO
>>hO FARISAIOS STAQEIS PROS hEAUTON TAUTA PROSHUCETO
depending upon which text you accept.
There seems to be something of a consensus that PROS hEAUTOUS (whatever it
actually means) is something the Pharisee did because he actually intended to.
I am one of those who take the other view. The Pharisee never intended to
PROS hEAUTOUS at all. He intended to pray to Heaven. To God. Most
definitely. He was not reciting all those good things about himself just
for his own benefit. He wanted God to be well and truly reminded of them.
He expected God to be listening. And approving.
But in this story, in this verse, Jesus is telling us what REALLY happened.
Giving us a "behind the scenes" view of things. The fact is, that sort of
selfish, self-centred prayer never got to God. (And still never does.) It
was quite contrary to the bloke's intentions, but the Pharisee was actually
only talking to himself, and not to God at all, for reasons as set out in
Now, he may have been praying out loud, or whispering under his breath, or
internalizing his prayer, but (whereas the tax collector's prayer made it
straight through to God), this Pharisee's prayer did not even get to the
temple roof. His "prayer" was only for his own ego gratification, and
whatever his intentions may or may not have been, it was (as Jesus tells
us) only PROS hEAUTON.
Really sad, I reckon, when you think about it.
And I am left wondering how often (without my knowing it) this word of
Jesus might apply to my prayers also.
And any of yours?
Rev Dr B. Ward Powers Phone (International): 61-2-8714-7255
259A Trafalgar Street Phone (Australia): (02) 8714-7255
PETERSHAM NSW 2049 email: bwpowers at optusnet.com.au
AUSTRALIA. Director, Tyndale College
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