This passage illustrates the wonder of the Gospel. I believe It is one the most wonderful demonstrations of the grace of God that you get in the whole of the Scriptures.
The prophet Haggai says, “Consider your ways” (Hag 1:5). We need to stop and consider the path we are on, and where it will lead. Do you know for sure where your path will lead? If you do not know for sure, I can tell you: you will end in a Christ-less eternity. If you are not a believer in the Lord Jesus, if you are not saved, then the fact is that you are lost. Not that you will be lost, but you are lost.
But tonight, in the glad tidings, we can tell you of a Saviour for the lost. The Lord Jesus said, “[I have] come to seek and to save that which is lost” (Luke 19:10).
I have read of two men because we learn a lot of things by contrast. Both had the same opportunity, but one went away sad, and the other went away glad! Our desire is that everyone may go away glad from this meeting tonight.
The Lord Jesus told us about two men who went up to the temple to pray (Luke 18:9‑14). One was a Pharisee – a very self-righteous, religious person. His prayer was full of himself, and how good he was compared to the other man – a tax-gatherer – who smote upon his breast and prayed saying, “O God, have compassion on me, the sinner.” Jesus said that the tax-gatherer “went down to his house justified.”