Going Deeper 10-18-19

The Gospel reading for Pentecost 19….

Luke 18:1-7   Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart.  He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people.  In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, 'Grant me justice against my opponent.'  For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, 'Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.' "  And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says.  And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night?  Will he delay long in helping them?  I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them.  And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"

 

Many of Jesus’ parables can be hard for us to fully grasp.  This may at times be a result of the complexity of the story, but often it has to do with our unfamiliarity with the culture in which the stories are told, as well as the various styles of story-telling Jesus uses.  With some help, we have a lot of good stuff to learn!

 

In this parable, Jesus uses contrast to make a point.  He begins by telling of "a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people."  In the Jewish culture, this would be very unacceptable for a judge.  And on top of that, this judge shows how “unjust” he is by continually ignoring the requests of a widow.  Because of their vulnerability, the Old Testament scriptures demand that widows and orphans be cared for, and if this widow was being mistreated, it was the duty of this judge to help.  But he won’t.  What a terrible, heartless, faithless judge!  However, because this judge finally gets so tired of the widow’s relentless “bothering”, he finally grants her the justice she requests.

 

Here is the contrast: If a no-good bum of a judge eventually gives in to the requests of a widow he cares nothing about, how much more will our just and loving “God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night?  Will he delay long in helping them?”  So, when we pray, we need to never “lose heart.”  At the same time, as we hear at the end of our text, we must also never lose faith.  Sometimes God’s answers to prayer do seem delayed… according to our way of thinking.  And sometimes we do not get the answer we desire.  But faith in a loving Father/God trusts that He will answer in accord with His will and His ways and His timetable, and always from a heart of eternal love.

 

With You in Him,


Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."