Verse 43. "And all the people-gave: praise unto God." - They saw the finger of God in what was done; and they gave him that praise which was due to his name. The Pharisees either saw not, or would not acknowledge this. The common people are often better judges of the work of God than the doctors themselves. They are more simple, are not puffed up with the pride of learning, and are less liable to be warped by prejudice or self-interest. Happy are those spiritually blind persons, to whom Christ has given eyes, that they may know him: feet, that they may follow him: a tongue, that they may praise him: and a heart, that they may love him! A true conversion, which no way contradicts itself, but is followed by an edifying life, makes known the majesty and power of God in a more eminent manner than the greatest external miracles. Quesnel.
FOR a practical use of the principal subjects in this chapter, see the parallel places in Matthew and Mark. How shall I be justified? is a most important question, which the parable of the Pharisee and the publican most distinctly answers. A deep consciousness of sin, humiliation of heart, and taking refuge by faith in the great atonement, is the way, and the only way.
Even the worst transgressors, coming thus to God, are accepted. Blessed news for penitent sinners!-for though they cannot boast of a righteousness equal to that of the scribes and Pharisees, yet they find they can, coming as the publican, be justified freely, through the blood of the cross, from all things, from which they could not be justified by the law of Moses. If this be so, how shall they escape who neglect so GREAT a SALVATION!