Bible Study
2 men went up to pray
[Lk. 18:11.]  “The Pharisee, having assumed a stance” (staqei;~, aorist passive
participle of i{sthmi), implies that he struck an ostentatious attitude when he took up
his position.
Blessed Theophylact: “By saying that the Pharisee assumed a stance, the Lord
indicates his high-mindedness and lack of humility....Although the tax collector stood
(eJstw;~, perfect active participle),...he was not willing to lift up his eyes to heaven.”
[P.G. 123:434D (col. 1004)].
Saint Kyril: “The tax collector was afraid of even being seen by God....The Pharisee
stood bold and broad, lifting up his eyes without scruple, bearing witness of himself.”
[Hom. 120, Commentary, Ch. 18, p. 482.]

[Lk. 18:12.]  Saint Kyril: “He provokes God’s anger by condemning men generally on
this account and accusing others. Thou art thyself puffed up, though not crowned by the
divine decree for righteousness, but heapest, on the contrary, praises upon thyself.
Thou speakest to God Who knows all things. Await the decree of the Judge. No one
crowns himself. Lower thy pride, for arrogance is both accursed and hated by God. Thou
condemnest men generally. This is an act foreign to the mind that fears God; for Christ
said, ‘Cease judging, and in no wise shall ye be judged; cease condemning, and in no
wise shall ye be condemned [Lk. 6:37].’ And one of His disciples said, ‘One is the
Lawgiver and Judge, Who is able to save and to destroy. But who art thou who judgest
another [Jas. 4:12]?’ No one who is in good health ridicules one who is sick and
bedridden; rather, he is afraid, lest perchance he become the victim of similar
sufferings. Nor does anyone in battle, because another has fallen, praise himself for
having escaped from misfortune. For the infirmity of others is not a fit subject for
praise for those who are in health.” [Ib., 481.]

[Lk. 18:13.]  Saint Kyril: “The tax collector stands afar off....Smitten by the reproaches
of conscience, he is even afraid of being seen by God; for he deemed himself as one
who had been careless of His laws and led an unchaste and dissolute life. He accuses
his own depravity by his external manner....He feels shame for his conduct. He is afraid
of his Judge. He smites his breast and confesses his offenses. He shows his malady to
the Physician. He prays that He may have mercy.” [Ib., 482.]

[Lk. 18:14.]  Saint Kyril: “Restrain not thyself from saying, ‘God, be gracious to me the
sinner’ (oJ Qeov~, iJlavsqhtiv moi tw`/ aJmartwlw`/). Remember Him Who says by the
voice of Esaias, ‘Do thou first confess thy transgressions, that thou mayest be justified
[Is. 43:26].’ Remember, too, that He rebukes those who will not do so, and says,
‘Behold, I will plead with thee, whereas thou sayest, “I have not sinned [Jer. 2:35].”’
Examine the words of the saints; for one says, ‘A righteous man accuses himself at the
beginning of his speech [Prov. 18:17].’ And another again, ‘Mine iniquity have I
acknowledged, and my sin have I not hid. I said, “I will confess mine iniquities before
the Lord against myself.” And Thou forgavest the ungodliness of my heart [Ps. 31(32):
5].’” [Ib.]