Holy Week, Monday – But in our study, in Luke, we are still with Jesus on the way to Jerusalem:
Luke 18:1 – 8
Then Jesus* told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2He said, ‘In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, “Grant me justice against my opponent.” 4For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, “Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.” ’* 6And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?’
Once again, we should at least consider the context – Jesus has been talking with the disciples; he had taught them to pray, “Thy kingdom come”; he has heard their questioning, “When? Where? How long must we wait for the kingdom?” He has told them they will not know the time nor the where –
Now fit this parable into that conversation. Even though they do not know where or when God’s kingdom comes, they should continue to pray for it and not lose heart in waiting. And then he tells the story – a corrupt judge, who cares for nothing, grants justice to a poor widow, the least powerful person in their culture, simply because of her persistence. We are not to see God as the corrupt judge here, but in an “if — then” comparison – If even one who cares for nothing will grant justice based on the woman’s persistent plea, then how much more will God hear the pleas of those who are his beloved children?
Jesus is leading up to the third and final prediction of his death; he knows that the disciples are likely to lose heart. This parable is to encourage them not to be discouraged in the midst of trials and hard times, to persist in their prayer. And finally, he asks the disciples, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” In the midst of the hard times, the desert places, the dark valleys, do we continue to pray? Do we stay faithful to our Lord, and to our God? Or do we get angry, and blame others, or perhaps even God; do we hate instead of loving? Or are we faithful to a loving God? Do we persist in faith in asking God to help us?