“He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt …” (v9). Jesus said that those who “exalted” their own goodness (v14) and looked down on others would be humbled by God. He warned his hearers about self-righteousness, which prevents us from approaching God like humble children (v16) and receiving what we need. He challenged the rich young man to let go of his personal resources, his self-protection, and depend totally on God (v22).
“Jesus … have mercy on me!” (v39). When we let go of our pride and self-justification, we are able to receive the abundant mercy and forgiveness Jesus offers.