Luke 18: Will He Find Faith on the Earth?

Luke 18: Will He Find Faith on the Earth?

Luke 18 opens with the parable of the persistent widow. This is a beautiful and inspiring text for those who love and believe in God. One of the helpful things about the parable is that the purpose is given before the parable and an application at the conclusion. (Note that the parable of the Pharisee and publican in verses 9-14 does the same.)

Jesus opens this parable with a character of utmost contempt—a man who had no fear of God or respect for men. This is not the improper “respect” that is unduly given to men (Acts 10:34-35; James 2), but the respect that should be shown to all men. He was a New Testament version of Nabal (1 Samuel 25).

Despite his churlish ways, this unjust judge granted the wish of the widow, not because he cared for widows or was angered by the injustice done her, but because she was persistent in her pleadings. Weary of hearing her pleas, he granted her request so she would leave him alone.

I love what Jesus says at the conclusion of the parable in verse 6: “Listen to what the unjust judge said.” Jesus held up this intemperate man to show us how good our God is, saying, “Shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily.”

My mind goes to three texts in view of the parable and application.

The first is Matthew 7:7-11, wherein Jesus declares the goodness of God and His gifts in view of evil man’s ability to give gifts to those they love.

The second is John’s picture of those who were martyred for the word of God and their testimony. With a loud voice they cried out to God, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (Rev 6:9-10). To these is the given the promise of rest and retribution (v 11). God is good and merciful to those who love him and those who do not, giving the latter space to repent, though His own continue to suffer.

The final text I thought of was 1 Thessalonians 5:17, and with this we conclude our thoughts and application: “Pray without ceasing.”

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