Nick And Mat, A Thanksgiving Story
Hello. My name is Nicholas, and you can call me Nick. I also must tell you about Matthew, and you can call him Mat. I once despised Mat and others like him, but now he has become my best friend. I am the Pharisee and Nick is the Publican about whom Jesus gave a parable. There was an occasion when Mat and I went to the temple to pray at the same time. I'm sure you would agree that my thanksgiving prayer left no doubt about what I was most grateful for. My prayer described a 'righteous' person who despised others unlike himself. I was thankful for that. Jesus used me as a perfect example of a person who is 'thankfully righteous' in his own eyes and with those same eyes, look down on other people.
Listen if you will to a short prayer I once prayed that I would never utter again because my life has been completely changed. "OH GOD, I THANK YOU that I am not like other people-robbers, crooks, adulterers, or, heaven forbid, like this tax man. I fast twice a week and tithe on all my income. Now, listen to Mat's prayer. He had no pride nor anything to boast about. "God, give mercy. Forgive me, a sinner." *
It was as if I had a Thanksgiving Holiday Spread filled with everything for my personal satisfaction. i.e. I had an overflowing POT of "I'm not like other people". I had a larger than normal BOWL of "I fast two times a week". I had a commercial-sized PAN of "I give tithes of all I possess". I had a big PLATTER of "I am a just man". I had a PLATE full of "I'm faithful to my wife". My dining table was overflowing with things I feasted on. I was full of it; full of myself. Yet, after feasting on all that I had, I was still hungry and empty, unjustified, abased, and unacceptable by God. On the other hand, the tax collector came hungry and empty but left filled, fulfilled, forgiven, and justified by God.
I later met Jesus and became born again. Now, I despise none and love everyone. And now, like my best friend Mat, I know how to pray, and I understand the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
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Copyright © curtis johnson | Year Posted 2018