Well I came across a story today that is a modern day version of that in Luke. The story is titled "The Cookie Thief" and goes like this: A woman was at the airport waiting to catch her flight. She bought a bag of cookies, settled in a chair in the airport lounge and began to read her book. Suddenly, from the corner of her eye, she noticed the man beside her helping himself to her cookies. Not wanting to make a scene, she read on, ate cookies, and waited for the announcement to board the plane. As the stranger kept on eating the cookies she got more and more irritated and thought to herself, "If I wasn't so nice, I'd make a scene and embarrass him in front of all these people." She thought of moving the cookies to her other side but decided against that. But with each cookie she took, he took one too. When only one cookie was left, she wondered what he would do. Then with a smile on his face he took the last cookie and broke it in half. He offered it to her as he ate the other. Angrily she snatched it from him with a look of disgust on her face and without a word of thanks to the man. She thought to herself, "Oh brother, this guy has some nerve, and he's also so rude. He didn't even show any gratitude!" When her flight was called she quickly gathered her things and left for the gate, refusing to look at the ungrateful "thief." When she sat down in her seat, she reached in her carry-on bag to get a book to read and forget about the incident. However, when she reached in for her book, there to her surprise was HER bag of cookies! The cookies she and the man beside her ate were his not hers. She was the thief not him!
This story reminds us that it often happens that the one pointing the accusing finger turns out to be the guilty one, and the complainant sometimes turns out to be the offending party. In the cookie story, the woman believed she was such a wonderful person to put up with the rudeness and ingratitude of the man sitting beside her. But in the end she discovered that she was the rude and ungrateful one and it was the man who had been very kind to her. Imagine her shock and chagrin when she saw the man walk by her as he went to find his seat further back in the plane.
In the Gospel the Pharisee thinks he is the righteous one who is worthy to be in the company of Jesus and that the woman was the sinful one unworthy to be seen with Jesus. In the end Jesus showed each of them where they really belonged and the woman was seen as the one who was righteous and more deserving of the company of Jesus than the self-righteous Pharisee.