November 2019  
SMTWTFS
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
     
Bible Search
10-20-19 Sermon

Luke 18:1-8

Let us pray: Dear Heavenly Father, You sent Your Son, Jesus the Christ, to reveal Your will and grace for our lives. Through the power of Your HOLY SPIRIT, help us to hear his word for our lives, and empower us to make it our own, as we seek to uplift those in need. This we ask in CHRIST’s holy name. Amen.

 

Jesus has been talking about the end of time and about the persecution that the church must go through before He returns. That persecution will be so severe that God’s remnant will beg for the end of time to come quickly.

Here’s where today’s Gospel begins. In light of the fact that the church will be persecuted in this world, told them they ought always to pray and not lose heart. The church militant must always pray.

This parable is telling, is not an allegory—it’s not a metaphor. God the Father cannot be equated to the unrighteous judge. This is a parable of contrast. In contrast to the unrighteous judge, who eventually gives in to the widow’s requests, God the Father is much more willing to hear us and to answer our prayers. The judge in the parable was not worthy of his position. He neither feared God nor respected man, but was interested only in his own comfort. We can be thankful that not all judges presiding over legal disputes is like this one. Unfortunately, the widow in today’s parable had no choice. Widows in biblical times had no power and were among the most vulnerable members of society. For this reason, Old Testament law stipulated that the worshiping community should take care of them.

The details of this woman’s case are not relevant to the point of the parable. What we do know is that the judge should have helped this woman--regardless. But the judge saw no personal gain in helping the woman, so he ignored her hoping she’d give up and go away, but she didn’t. She showed up every morning. judge did not hear her case because it was the right thing to do, but because he simply wanted to get her off his back.

Jesus contrasts this unrighteous judge with God, who is righteous and holy. Jesus taught His disciples that if an unrighteous judge will give justice just to get a badgering widow off his back, how much more will the God of love and mercy bring justice to His people? The judge didn’t want to hear from the widow. God does want to hear from us.

There is also the contrast between all of us and the widow. Jesus does not tell us the details of the widow’s case, but she had good reason—she deserved the help for which she was asking.

Now in our case, when we stand before Almighty God, we are guilty and deserve to be punished for all eternity. On our own, we have no right to ask God to be merciful. But God loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus CHRIST, to suffer the punishment we deserve. Although we have no rights in God’s court, Jesus gives us His rights.

The judge, who neither feared God nor cared about anyone else, finally did the right thing just to get rid of the widow. How much more will God, out of His love for us, sacrificed His only begotten Son, do what is best for us?

In the Small Catechism, Luther teaches about the LORD’s prayer that we are to be confident when we pray. We “ask Him as dear children ask their dear father.” We are God’s children because of the innocent suffering and death of Jesus. God deeply longs for us to approach him, describing to him the needs of our lives and the longings of our hearts.

So we pray continuously. We pray especially for the end of time when we shall see Jesus face-to-face.

After Jesus finished telling the parable He asked, “Nevertheless, when the n of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” and the answer implied in the question is yes, he will!

He will find people who prayed without ceasing.

He will find faith in people who humble themselves and beg for God’s mercy.

He will find faith in people who, like the little children, trust Him implicitly.

He will find faith in people who cry out to CHRIST for healing and mercy.

He will find faith in people like us--people who lean on Him for everlasting hope.

So we pray and do not lose heart…we don’t give up. Jesus CHRIST shed His blood to ransom You from sin. You are His beloved child. He has won eternal life for You. He cares for You and, unlike the judge in today’s parable; God wants to hear from You. Pray continually and do not lose heart. Amen.