Monday in the Twenty-First Week of Ordinary Time

Luke 18:1-8

Be Persistent in Prayer, For Our God Will Surely Come

After speaking about his Kingdom’s coming in the future in all of its glory when he returns, Jesus then turns to the matter of prayer.  This reminds us that as we wait for our Lord’s return, God’s people will suffer injustice at the hands of the world.  And because of this, we are ever a people in waiting – a people waiting for our redemption, our vindication, our deliverance from this world and all of its deceitfulness.  Jesus told us that “the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing … than the sons of light” (16:8).  We are going to lose many battles.  But our Deliverer is strong and just and shall save us from the enemy.

So Jesus relates a parable of a poor widow who continuously goes to a judge who “neither fears God nor respects man”; that is, he is the very antithesis of what a judge should be.  He cares not one iota for this woman but gives her justice against her adversary for one reason only, that she continuously comes to him, begging him, imploring him, beseeching him, and is, quite frankly, such a bother to him.  And that is the only reason why he renders unto her what is her due, lest she “beat him down by her continual coming.”  Then Jesus drives his point home: “Will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night?  Will he delay long over them?  I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily.”

Jesus’ exhibits here what is called a “lesser to greater” argument: If such a man would do this, wouldn’t our God do that?  Our God hears our prayers and bottles up our tears (Psalm 56:8).  In the Book of Revelation, the souls of the martyrs cry out, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”  And they are encouraged “to rest a little longer” until the number of their brethren should be complete (6:10-11).  We must not water down this parable as if it were about some trinket we wanted.  It should be understood in the context of the very real injustices God’s people face in many parts of the world and increasingly in our own country, and in the hope that our Lord will not delay but will surely come (Revelation 22:12, 20).  And because we pray to a sovereign, holy, true, and loving Lord, who watches over and is so very jealous for His people, He shall vindicate them, be it here or on the last day.  And so we pray and pray and pray, with tears and wailing, while we travel in this place of our exile, desiring to be with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:6-10).  We know whom we have believed, and He is near to those of a broken heart and crushed spirit (2 Timothy 1:12; Psalm 34:18).

3 thoughts on “Monday in the Twenty-First Week of Ordinary Time”

  1. Verses like these always bring up “election” and what it means. This topic is probably my biggest struggle in the faith. My husband is not regenerated to a saving faith. If he is not of the elect, he will never be saved. But, I pray continuously for God to draw him to himself and soften his heart to saving grace.

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    1. Kathy, and that’s all you can do, but that it is a great deal. We worship a gracious God who sent His Son to seek and to save the lost. Furthermore, Paul writes that the unbelieving spouse is made holy or sanctified by the believing spouse (1 Corinthians 7:14). No, this doesn’t mean that the unbelieving spouse will automatically be saved, but it certainly indicates a sanctifying influence you are having on your husband — and we have to believe that God put the two of you together for a reason — and we hope for your husband’s salvation. So continue bringing this to the Lord knowing that He is nothing like the unjust judge, which is the point of the parable. And don’t concern yourself with whether he is among the elect or not. That is a matter over which you have neither control nor knowledge. Luther said that God doesn’t want us to seek Him in the depths of such unsearchable questions as election, but to seek Him in the cross. Keep your eyes on the cross as you pray and meditate.

      Grace & peace,
      Stephen

      Liked by 1 person

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