The illness has gone on for a long time. There are times when an illness or health concern can be with us for a time that is longer than expected. As medical procedures are limited by the ability for anyone to pay for them, we wonder if we can hold on to our faith. Our faith might get stretched. Will our faith see us through?
The abuse and bad-mouthing continue at home. Whether it is the adult male in the house or the adult female in the house, that one person who hits and berates the other takes a toll on the other person. Even the other family members can learn to carry on such behavior. Our faith in God can waver quite a bit when the abuser is a regular church-going person. Will our faith see us through?
The drug use and overdosing continue in our community. Loved ones succumb to the lure of a quick fix or a hit to numb the pain. We wonder about their faith in God. We wonder about our faith in God. Will our faith see us through?
There are so many situations which can test, even break, our faith. For the widow in Jesus’ parable, the need for persistent faith is quite evident. For at that time, and even in our time, a widow was and can be at the mercy of other people. Not having the income of the husband can greatly impact a widow, whether she has children or not. This widow shows us how not to lose heart.
A. Luke’s understanding of this parable starts here (18:1)
1. We have a need to pray – always
2. We have a need to not lose heart
3. Will our faith see us through till the Son of Man comes? We want to keep our heart focused on Jesus. But when the daily news seems so negative, we wonder about our world. We are being reminded to pray and to not lose heart. As followers of Jesus, these two aspects of faith will help us until the Son of Man comes. Look at who the widow was petitioning.
B. What kind of judge is this judge? (18:2)
1. The judge did not fear God
2. The judge did not respect people
3. This judge is messed up. He doesn’t care if God told us how to live. He doesn’t care if people are taking advantage of others. How he became a judge, we can only guess. Yet, here he is in this parable in the position of judge. Look what the widow does.
C. The widow needs help (18:3)
1. The widow kept going to the judge
2. She had the same request – justice
3. We don’t know who was doing an injustice(s) to the widow
4. Whatever she was asking for from the judge, the widow needed it
5. Would she keep asking until she gets justice? Can she be persistent until she gets what she needs? Will her faith see her through?
D. The judge didn’t want to be worn out by the widow (18:4-5)
1. Or he didn’t want to be slapped by the widow!
2. He knew he didn’t fear God or respect people
3. The judge finally gives the widow the justice she needs.
4. What persistence the widow had! If anything happens in this world, it is good to pursue justice. People may not give justice. But continually asking for justice is needed. Will our faith see us through?
E. Jesus goes even farther than was expected! (18:6-8)
1. The Lord said, “Listen to the unjust judge”
2. If the unjust judge can grant justice, how long will it take God to grant justice?
3. Will God delay in helping people who cry to him day and night?
4. God will quickly grant justice to those who cry to him day and night
5. When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?
a. Can we be found to be pursuing justice?
b. Can we be found trusting God for what we need?
6. God can and will grant justice. But do we believe God can and will grant justice? The only way we can live his belief is to continually pester God about the justice that is needed in this world.
Faith is not something we find on our living room walls. Faith is not something we use only once or twice in our lives. Faith is needed in this life. Faith is lived by continually asking God until we receive justice.
The medical concern can go on for a long time. As medical procedures are limited by the ability for anyone to pay for them, we wonder if we can hold on to our faith. Our faith might get stretched. Will our faith be lived out as we continue to seek justice?
The man or woman may keep on abusing the rest of the family. Will the family receive any justice for the abuse they have endured? Will our faith see us through?
The drug use is taking a toll in our community. Will those families receive any justice through their faith in God? Will our faith see us through?
When the Son of Man comes, will he find us to have faith with all that is going on here on earth? The Son of Man has not arrived yet. We still have time to live our faith in Jesus.