Prepare to Listen. Still your inner noises then pray: Turn my eyes from looking at vanities; give me life in your ways.
Prayerfully Read 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?’
“Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart.” Initially, this seems to be the main teaching of this parable. Yet it ends, not with a command to pray more, but with a question: “And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Parables are never obvious, and Jesus’ question forces us to think deeper. Faith is one of Jesus’ favorite topics and his parable makes us consider it again. But this time, we’re to see faith in relation to justice, used four times in this passage.
It’s often assumed, with some justification, that the judge stands in contrast to God, who, unlike the unjust judge, “will quickly grant justice” to those who ask. However, there is a sense in which the judge is also like God. He was unjust not because he ignored the widow until her persistence annoyed him enough to give what she asked for. That merely made him a jerk. He was unjust because he never heard from the widow’s opponent. Judges aren’t supposed to make decisions without hearing both sides of the story, weighing the evidence, and deciding who deserves justice and who doesn’t. God, like the judge, never gives our opponent (the devil) a hearing. God’s judgment is, in a sense, unjust. He gives us justice whether we deserve it or not.
Will there be faith in God’s power to give justice, even though it means God will act ‘unjustly,’ ignoring our opponent? If not, there will be little praying.
What disturbed or comforted you in this parable?
Respond to Jesus
Lord, when you return, may you find faith in me, a faith that persists in praying for justice on earth. Increase my faith. Amen.
Live obediently. Pray, with persistence and faith, for justice.
 We’ve already had two devotions this week that relate to faith (17:1-6 on Sunday and 17:11-19 on Monday).
I began reading my Bible when I was 8 years old. I loved it then (albeit didn't understand much) and I still love reading and studying it. I may understand a little more but I keep learning new stuff, seeing things I missed for years. This journey with Luke during Lent has been another new learning experience for me, deepening my relationship with Jesus. I pray it will do the same for you.