2018-07-11 / Other News

The widow and the unjust judge

Sunday School Lesson
Rev. James Temples

Luke 18:1-8

Life has a way of “going off in all directions.” We do not understand why we must face great confusion, as we meet times of crisis. One assurance that has been given to the person who has placed his or her faith in Jesus Christ of Nazareth is His constance presence. Our Lord has promised, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5c

There are times in which a simple word or phrase will bring to mind some very important fact or principle. As our Lord taught the people concerning the necessity of always being ready for the next great event in the divine calendar — the catering away of the church. He spoke one simple phrase — “Remember Lot’s wife.” Luke 17:32. This phrase painted a great picture for the religious leaders and others who were present. Simply stated, “A backward look can cost you your future.” See Genesis 19:26.

Luke, “the beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14), recorded another scene of a teaching session. There is no question regarding the lesson that is being taught. “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lack courage) ...” Luke 18:1.

As the scene unfolds, a description is given of a local judge. “There was in a city a judge, which feared (reverenced) not God, neither regarded man ...” Luke 18:2. One could wonder how this individual could have obtained his present position. No indication is given in the divine record.

The scene continued to unfold. “And there was a widow in that city’ and she came unto him, saying, “Avenge me of mine adversary.” Luke 18:3. No details of the case are given. The response of the judge was described — “And he would not for a while...” Luke 18:4a.

The “point” of this parable is persistence of the petition.er. Our Lord tells us, “but afterwards he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.” Luke 18:4,5.

Jesus had a comment concerning th response of the unjust judge — “And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.” Luke 18:6. This comment was followed by a question — “And shall not God avenge his own elect (called out ones) which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?” Luke 18:7.

The contrast is quite clear. “I tell you that he (God) will avenge them (the elect) speedily.” Luke 18:8a. The basis of the call to our Heavenly Father — the Creator of the universe — is based on one thing — faith. This short teaching is closed with a question that must be faced by everyone who claims to be a part of the family of God — “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Luke 18:8b.

The hearers — and all readers — must face the last question, regarding his or her personal life. Every individual has “faith” in something. This fact might rest on background, personal ability, church affiliation, social standing or any number of other manmade things. However, the only kind of faith that is divinely recognized has God as its source. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome, “For I say, through the grace given unto me., to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man th measure of faith.” Romans 12:3. As he explained the way of salvation to the readers in Ephesus, he wrote, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9.

The writer of Hebrews — most probably the Apostle Paul — wrote, “But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (exists), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6. How much effort will be put forth, in order to know God and His will?

As we present our petitions before the “throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16), we can rest assured that our God knows the motive behind the request. Our Lord told the multitude, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matthew 7:7,8. Earlier, He spoke of our petitions, as He taught us to pray, “Thy will be done, in earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10b. The Apostle James wrote, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss (out of line), that ye may consume it upon your own lusts (desires).” James 4:3.

The patriarch Abraham met this same personal question. Regarding the destruction of the City of Sodom, he was convinced of the purity of divine justice. He asked the men who had come to him, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25c. Yes, he petitioned the men regarding the destruction of that city. Genesis 18:23-33. Yet the final decision remained in the hands of God.

As we read the account of the “unjust judge,” we must not make the mistake of seeing God in the role of this unjust judge. It is easy for unredeemed mankind to assign error to our Heavenly Father. The Apostle James wrote, “Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17. We can know that God loves us. He is with those who faithfully serve Him. John 3:16.

Rev. James C. Temples’ Sunday School Lesson has appeared in the Early County News each week since 1967. A native of Early County, Rev. Temples taught in public schools 32 years and 10 years at Southeastern College of Assemblies of God, in Lakeland, Fla. He also served as pastor and evangelist during those years. He can be contacted at P. O. Box 1484, Swainsboro, GA 30401; 478- 299- 2068. Email: temples_ james@ yahoo. co m

Return to top