Today in God’s Word
Exodus 15; Luke 18
In chapter 18 of the Gospel of Luke, the matter of faith is the subject of both the opening and closing of the chapter. First, is the issue of persistence in faith through prayer is taught by Jesus using a parable Luke 18:1-8, then the presence of faith is address with Jesus healing a blind man Luke 18:35-42.
Persistent prayer is an expression of our faith.
In the Parable of the Persistent widow Luke 18:1-8, Luke gives us the principle Jesus is teaching before relating the parable. The reason for the teaching is that we need “keep on praying,” without discouragement, even when we don’t see the answer to our prayers in the timeframe we desire Luke 18:1.
Jesus uses the example of a harsh and hard-hearted judge who refused to care or give justice to a destitute widow who had been wrong by someone else. Yet, she pressed the judge continually until he acquiesced and gave her the justice she sought. The picture is one of a contrast of status in society. A widow was among the most hopeless in the ancient culture. The judge was in a prominent position of power in the community. She had no leverage and he sat a ruler with the authority of the court at his disposal. Her only recourse was persistence Luke 18:4-5 and that she was until the judge ruled in her favor.
This is a parable of contrast, not comparison. God is not likened to the unjust judge, instead His character is completely opposite. He is eager to answer our prayers, that are in accordance with His will 1 John 5:14-15, and so He does not delay if our prayers are in alignment with His purposes. So, our responsibility to ask God in prayer, then keep on asking Matthew 7:7-11.
We must believe by faith that God will hear our plea.
Luke 18 closes with a healing encounter Luke 18:35-42 in which Jesus responds to believing faith of man seeking healing of his blindness. The blind man called out to Jesus in a confession of his faith by pleading to Jesus’ authority. In identifying Jesus as the Son of David Luke 18:38, he is recognizing Jesus as the Messiah of Israel (Matthew 1:1).
Jesus asks what the blind man wants, then grants him his petition because of the man’s believing faith. The timing was right for this man’s prayer to be answered instantly and his unwavering faith in Jesus, without embarrassment or inhibition, put him in a position to be blessed by Jesus with an answer to his plea.
God is willing and able to answer the prayers of His people. Do I believe that about God? If so, am I ready to persist in petitioning Him, by my prayers and pleas, to act? Finally, will I trust Him to do His will in perfect timing?
Soli Deo Gloria!