Jesus isn’t telling us God is like this non caring evil judge who we must beg, bother, and wear out before he answers our prayers. It’s the opposite. Jesus set this judge in contrast with God. Jesus said if this unfeeling judge, who didn’t care about people and didn’t fear God, would give justice how much more would God who loves you give justice quickly.

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE CHAPTER 18

Justice And Quickly (Luke 18:1-8)

By Pastor Delbert Young

Audio

https://sermonschangetheworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/103-get_justice_quickly.mp3

Justice And Quickly – Luke 18:1-8

Scriptures: Luke 17:35-18:1,Psalms 10:1, Psalms 22:1, Psalms 42:9, Psalms 42:3, Psalms 4:1, Luke 18:2-8, Romans 8:28

Today we will be talking about prayer. Prayer invokes many thoughts and emotions – mostly negative. What are some of the first thoughts and emotions you experienced just knowing you’re going to sit and listen to me talk about prayer for about forty minutes? Let’s seriously and honestly list some resistances and questions about praying: boring; not again; why do it; what good is prayer?; time consuming and unproductive; I’ve got more productive things to do; prayer is frustrating; I feel guilty for not praying; do I pray correctly?; when God doesn’t do what I told him to do it messes with my faith; I dread it; God is in control and is going to do what he wants to do anyway. Do you relate to any, or all of these? Does anyone feel they do the Christian praying thing really, really well? I know I don’t and I’m a/your pastor. Are you good at prayer? How do you feel?

Thankfully, today Jesus will address this for us. The context of the passage we study is always important. Jesus was traveling to Jerusalem where he would suffer many things including execution. He gave a lengthy discourse concerning coming in the days of the Son of Man destroying the Jewish sacrificial system. Immediately after explaining this event, he shared what we study today. To better get it let’s read the last verses of the previous chapter.

Luke 17:35-18:1 Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.”  “Where, Lord?” they asked. He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”THEN Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that THEY SHOULD ALWAYS PRAY AND NOT GIVE UP. (KJV – faint)

They would be going through a difficult time and we’re immediately told the purpose of the parable – we should always pray and not give up – ekkakeo {ek-kak-eh’-o} – to be utterly spiritless, to be wearied out, exhausted. The thing I really appreciate about this parable is Jesus shows us he realizes his disciples then and now become spiritless, wearied out, and exhausted when it comes to prayer. Jesus knows praying the way we should pray is tough, but it works if we can push through.

We’re all going to give up on prayer because of all the reasons previously mentioned. Then we think and feel there must be something wrong with me. “I must have a problem. I shouldn’t dread praying. All good Christians pray, so it’s got to be me. I’m not a good Christian.” Jesus said it’s not you. Praying as we should is extremely difficult, but if you will push through it will work and quickly.

What is prayer? Prayer is communicating with God. Prayer includes, but is not only talking about our specific needs and requests. I love it when I’m praying but find myself talking (and I do talk out loud) about a sermon I’m going to preach. Clarity comes. I love talking to him thanking him for my wife, children, our church, you, and my friends. It’s a special time of thanking God for my life. When I’m praying and an issue emerges unplanned, I know God’s in it and wants to communicate about it. It could be something’s coming and I need to prepare (2Ki 4:27). This is much of what Jesus is telling the disciples and this is how prayer works.

Prayer takes no special training. Jesus gave us a few thoughts and issues we can talk to Father about – the hallowed name, his kingdom, Father’s will, his providing my daily needs, forgiveness, and temptation, but prayer is communicating with God as you would to your dad or your best friend. It’s just sometimes it seems your best friend, or your dad isn’t paying attention, not communicating back, and doesn’t care. Ever feel like this?

The closest thing to a book in the Bible about prayer is the Book of Psalms. Psalms is basically a collection of prayers sang to God, but over and over we find phrases like these:

Psalms 10:1 Why, O LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

Psalms 22:1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?

Psalms 42:9 I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?”

Psalms 42:3 My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

Psalms 4:1 Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.

Psalms 17:6 I call on you …give ear to me and hear my prayer.

This doesn’t scratch the surface of these type statements in Psalms. Where are you God? Do you hear me? Do you care? Sometimes it’s the opposite and God answers the prayer immediately, but usually not. Jesus knew his disciples, their families and their nation would be going through the most difficult time imaginable. They would need to pray. When we go through tough times we must pray. There must be persistency and consistency in prayer.

Luke 18:2-8 He said: “In a certain town THERE WAS A JUDGE who neither feared God nor cared about men. AND THERE WAS A WIDOW in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!'” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

There’s the Son of Man. The characters in the parable are the arrogant unjust judge and the widowwho is the star of the parable. At the time a widow was the most vulnerable and helpless in society. They continue to be prime targets of con artists today. There was no infrastructure such as social security, life insurance, welfare, Medicare/Medicaid, etc. Any property reverted to the husband’s male relatives unless there was a son, not to the widow. There were no public defenders appointed by the court to defend her. A woman was not to even approach a judge, but she did.

This widow was wronged by her adversary and the judge was taking her adversary’s side. She’d gone to the judge for justice only to find he could not care less about the widow, her situation, God, or anyone. This judge was a hideous “Scrooge” type person. God didn’t move him. Compassion for people did not move him. Shame did not move him. Nothing moved this judge.  He was a wicked horrible human being whose nature was compounded by his power as a judge.

We are to be like the widow in the story, but sometimes we’re more like the unjust judge. We go around judging. We too have victims. Sometimes it seems we do not fear God or care about people? Christians take advantage of vulnerable people. We only care about ourselves. God will wear you down. One day you will submit and tap out.

Jesus takes us to the times in life when we are stressed, vulnerable, helpless, seemingly hopeless, and exhausted all resources. What is the only option? It’s prayer. There are times when prayer is our only alternative. Have you ever been there? What is Jesus telling us to do? When we are most likely to give up, don’t.

Luke 18:4-5 “For some time he refused. But finally he SAID TO HIMSELF, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because THIS WIDOW KEEPS BOTHERING ME, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually WEAR ME OUT with her coming!'”

He had a soliloquy (talked to himself). The widow had this wicked judge talking to himself. I do this all the time. There’s something about talking to myself that helps me think things through and even changes my life (Luk 15:12; 16:3). This is what the judge experienced. He didn’t care about pleasing God. He didn’t care about pleasing people, but he did care about pleasing himself. The widow’s bothering him and wearing him out did not please him.

Jesus used a hyperbole. Wear me out is hupopiazo {hoop-o-pee-ad’-zo} – meaning to beat black and blue, to smite so as to cause bruises like a boxer, beat one out. “This woman is beating me to death,” is the thought. This widow was not physically beating him. If you have children you know what hupopiazo is. They keep asking until you submit and tap out. My thought is you are a child of God.

Luke 18:6-8 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring aboutJUSTICE for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get JUSTICE, and QUICKLY

Jesus isn’t telling us God is like this non caring evil judge who we must beg, bother, and wear out before he answers our prayers. It’s the opposite. Jesus simply set the judge in contrast with God. Jesus said if this unfeeling judge, who didn’t care about people and didn’t fear God, would give justice how much more would God who loves you give justice quickly.  We’re his chosen ones. You are special to God. However, we need to understand our prayers must include justice, not only what we want to happen. There is a difference.

We don’t understand the delay in God’s answering prayers. I don’t. At those times I must somehow see justice. The answer may be to answer in a different way than I imagined. When you think back over your life following God, which times do you feel you matured the most? Was it the easy times when you immediately got what you wanted, or was it the more difficult times when you were forced to pray and trust God’s justice? For me it was the more difficult times. Those times showed me who I really was. Those were the times I saw I wasn’t who I thought I was and showed me who I needed to become. So there’s a lot happening in times of praying.

In these times we learn sometimes unanswered prayers, as the prophet Garth Brooks says, are of God and we need to thank God for them. Sometimes you look back and unanswered prayers worked for your good.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

If you love God he is working in all your situations. He’s working in the good situations and in the bad situations and he’s working all things for our good.

Jesus asked, “Don’t you hear what the unjust judge is teaching us? Can’t you read between the lines? Don’t you get the principle? Will God not bring justice for us who will not stop praying? Don’t you see the way to get justice quickly is by praying day and night” – persistently and consistently?

There are two things we need to see: (1) the parable is about speeding up the process of prayer by not giving up. We give up and stop praying before getting justice. (2) The parable is not about getting our prayers answered as much as it is about God bringing about justice. Jesus didn’t say God would answer our prayer the way we wanted. He said God would see that they get justice, and quickly. Justice may not have been exactly what we requested.

Luke 18:8 I tell you, he will see that they get JUSTICE, and QUICKLY. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

The ending of Jesus seems out of context. It’s not. The coming of the Son of Man dealt with the AD 70 great tribulation (Mat 24:21). Jesus gave the disciples instructions about this coming (Luke 17:22-37). Jesus asked when they see what will happen when Rome destroys the temple and Jerusalem, will people be able to believe God is giving justice? How about you and me? When we go through the tribulations of life and it seems God is not answering, will Jesus find faith in you? Do you have faith in his justice?

Other Related Sermons:

The Promise – Easter sermon video audio notes

What Then? – Easter sermon video audio notes

You and the Tomb – Easter sermon