Lectionary Reflection: Luke 18:1-8 Grace through Faith.

The story Jesus tells here is all too straightforward and easy to understand.  The jerky judge is going to satisfy the squeaky wheel with grease because she is a pain in his anatomy.  Notice, the judge says nothing about whether her case is right or wrong, he is just going to give her what she wants because she is annoying.

Jesus calls the judge unjust because he did not care one whit about justice (Man or God).  Don’t be like that.  Jesus implies that the woman is indeed a bother and a pain and I am sure he would say, don’t be like that either.  This is NOT a story saying we should all become whiney, demanding children to get our way with God.  It is a word of reminder that our God is a God of justice and if even an unjust judge will be swayed to act by persistence, how much more will God act when we turn to him in prayer, Day and Night as Jesus said.  But then comes the twist.

However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth? (NIV).

Is this just an expression tacked on to the end of this story?  Some might think so.  Some scholars might even teach so, but No.  But then how does it relate to this story?  Simple and not simple………..

What is faith?  It is the great appropriator.  We are saved by Grace through Faith.  Faith is the gift of God that allows us to know what cannot be known and believe what is impossible to believe.  It is the evidence of things unseen.  And it is the only means by which we receive salvation or anything else from God.  How many times does Jesus say, “Your faith has saved you” or “You faith has healed you?” 

Faith appropriates salvation, it appropriates healing, it appropriates righteousness as it turns us from sin.  Faith of God – in God appropriates all truth and goodness.  Abraham’s faith was counted to him as righteousness.  Faith appropriates the blessings of God.  Faith appropriates all that is hoped for, and faith appropriates justice as well.  Without faith we can cry 24/7 and will receive nothing.  Faith is the receptor.

God will quickly give justice to his chosen ones who cry out to him persistently, but without faith, us chosen ones will not receive a penny’s worth of justice.  Cry real tears.  It doesn’t matter.  I speak from experience.  There must be faith to receive.

God is not an unjust judge.  God will give justice – no matter your circumstances, predicament or trouble.  God is there for you, but can you receive his blessing – his act on your behalf?  Can you see it?  Can you know it?  Do you have the faith?

Without faith we can expect nothing from God.  With faith we receive all that is hoped for until all is received, even Heaven itself.  Then, when God has given us everything, nothing need remain but love.  Faith, hope and love, but the greatest is love.  So, what do you think?  When the Son of Man comes will he find faith on Earth?

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