We have nothing to offer to God.
The Pharisee in the parable (Luke 18:9-14) – both wealthy and very religious – thought he had much to offer to God, which he gave. Yet, Jesus points out that this was worthless and not accepted by God (v14a). The tax collector – an obvious sinner – knew that he had nothing to offer to God (v13).
Small children also know that they have nothing to offer; that’s why they are always hassling their dads and mums to get them more things, and happily receive any ‘gift horse’ when it comes along (Luke 18:15-17).
Yet, God confronts our poverty with His radical, ridiculous generosity.
He sends out His goodness, grace and blessing to every person on the planet – to the very least (Luke 18:15-17) – even to the Pharisee who thought he had much, but actually had nothing; God justifies – makes right, ‘ok’ – the worst of sinners, who simply know their desperate need and ask for mercy (v13).
We have received a super-abundance of God’s grace. To know this must transform our world and our lives into the shape of God’s radical generosity. Out of these riches we do have an abundance to give!
Grace upon grace, Jonathan.