The Pharisee and the publican

This, then, is a terrible, fearsome lesson concerning the Pharisee who, uncondemned before the world, is damned because of his haughtiness and disdain for other people. For where such pride, as described in our text, is present, there forgiveness of sins cannot be. It was pride that precipitated the noblest angel out of heaven; and the most excellent people on earth, Adam and Eve, were driven from Paradise when they became proud and wanted to be like God…..

Therefore, let everyone humble himself before God, be caring toward his neighbor and not despise him, serve and work faithfully to earn his living, eat and drink; let him take care not to become proud and puffed up, as he sees that he, too, has unclean hands. To these God gives his grace; but those who do not obey will be cast out. For God cannot endure pride, as Mary recounts in her hymn of praise, “He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts; he hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.”

–Dr. Martin Luther on Luke 18:9-14, the Gospel passage for the Eleventh Sunday after Trinity