The Invitation - Day 1

Luke 18:1-8

18 One day, Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. 2 “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. 3 A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ 4 The judge ignored her for a while, but finally, he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, 5 but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”

6 Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. 7 Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So, don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”

Jesus spoke to his disciples directly and wanted to remind them to pray and not lose heart. This reality means a few things to me. 1) the disciples sometimes got frustrated, just like you and me. There were times they needed to figure out if their prayers went above the ceiling right above them. Incredibly, things are not so different for the disciples as they are for you and me today. I often get frustrated and have to live in the reality that there are times when God’s silence makes me want to stop praying. 2) I am reminded that Jesus was such a phenomenal

teacher that he often approached the issues they were dealing with before they mentioned it.
This story was addressed to them so they would not be discouraged.

He tells the story of a judge who didn’t care much for the people he was supposed to be working with and for. Instead, he was insensitive and willing to ignore the good of the people. In this story, we see the unjust judge who only handed out justice when the widow was persistent in coming back to him repeatedly, admonishing him to give her justice.

But then Jesus didn’t seem to rebuke the idea of this unjust judge. Jesus focused on the widow, who consistently warned this unfair judge. In this way, Jesus created a “type/anti-type” construction for us to understand. When he shows us the unjust judge, he can offer us precisely the opposite kind of ruler than the judge is. He then juxtaposed that judge with how God is gracious and caring in his compassion for his people. Indeed, if a judge who didn’t care about the people would relent to a persistent admonishment to do the right thing, how much more do you think that a just God would hear the cries of his people?

To apply this today means that we are to continue to reach out to God, even when we don’t feel as if God is listening. You may be tentatively studying with someone who says they can’t “feel” God and may not have what we would consider a relationship with God. They may feel their prayers go no higher than the ceiling above them. This story means we can encourage them to continue asking for God’s presence and understanding. Remind them that God is not like the unjust judge, but he is much greater than that, and if they continue to reach out, they will see God.

  1. Have you ever felt that God wasn’t present in your life?
  2. Do your prayers ever feel unanswered?
  3. What would be the best way to encourage someone
    to continue to reach out to God?

By Pastor Timothy Gillespie

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