Thursday, April 29, 2021

2021.04.29 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 18:1–8

Read Luke 18:1–8

Questions from the Scripture text: What does Jesus begin speaking to them in Luke 18:1? What is the point of this parable? What is the judge like in Luke 18:2? Who else is in the city? For what does she ask from the judge (Luke 18:3)? How does the judge respond for a while (Luke 18:4)? What does he know himself to still not do? So, why does he decide to get her justice (Luke 18:5)? To whom does the Lord tell them to listen in Luke 18:6? Whom does He say God will more surely listen to (Luke 18:7)? What should they be doing day and night? How long will it take for Him to give them justice (Luke 18:8)? With what question does Jesus conclude this lesson about not losing heart in prayer? 

The Holy Spirit tells us the point of the parable: to teach us “that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1).

Jesus has a specific subject of prayer in mind: that God would avenge us, i.e. give us justice or vindicate us (cf. Luke 18:7-8). Though the lesson and the principle apply to all proper prayer, it is especially focused upon this one. Things are not yet as they ought to be, especially in the mistreating and misjudging of believers. 

The Lord tells us here that we should be praying for ourselves and other believers to be delivered from those who act and speak against them—indeed from those whose manner is the fruit of the devil, that great murderer and accuser.

Jesus also has a specific manner of prayer in mind: intense (“crying out”), frequent/consistent (“day and night”), and persistent (“though He bears long with them”), Luke 18:7. By these, He shows us what he means by “always ought to pray and not lose heart.” How very far have many of us to come—prayerless people in a prayerless age.

There is precious little addressing God, let alone crying out to Him. Hardly an individual or household can be found who have set times of prayer both morning and evening, and few are the churches whose public worship feature any crying out whatsoever, or have even one additional set time of prayer in each week. We are fools if we believe that what happens in few set times somehow intensely happens in the between-times; and, we cannot honestly begin to talk about being either frequent or persistent in that which we hardly ever even begin to do. 

God have mercy upon us! To many who claim to be Christians, the God Who has elected us, hears us, and responds to us is nearly as theoretical as the unjust judge from our Lord’s parable. Yet, this is exactly what Jesus is asking about and looking for in Luke 18:8b. He’s defining “finding faith” here as finding elect people who pray like this. If Jesus were to come to your bedroom, to your household, to your church, would He find what He’s looking for?

Finally, Jesus gives us a specific ground upon which to hope that we are heard. God has elected us (Luke 18:7). He Who has been determined to do us good from outside of time will answer our prayers in as little of that time as will possibly honor Him and benefit us. He has chosen you. He will hear you. He will avenge you. And speedily, at that.

If “the Son of Man” came to you/your family/your church, would He find prayer and not losing heart?

Suggested Songs: ARP55C “But As for Me, I’ll Call on God” or TPH522 “Behold the Throne of Grace!”

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