March 30th Luke 18 Perseverance
1: And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2: Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4: And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5: Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6: And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7: And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8: I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
Two men go to pray
9: And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11: The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12: I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13: And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14: I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Jesus blesses the Children
15: And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16: But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 17: Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.
Luke gives us the main point of the parable that he records. The parable of the unjust judge. He was an unfeeling and untouchable judge. He did not fear God or men. A poor widow pleaded with him for justice but he refused. He was only moved by her persistence in calling for his help. Is God unfeeling that he will not avenge those who cry to him every day? in fact he says yes God will avenge and speedily. Nevertheless he says of himself, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Luke explains the purpose of the next parable - And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others. Here we have two men who come to prayer, One a Pharisee and the other a Publican. The Pharisee stood praying alone saying, God; I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortionists, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I possess. Now from a religious point of view he was a righteous man living in good conscience before God. What is wrong with that? The thing that was wrong was that his law observance had led him to arrogance and self righteousness instead of humility and self awareness of his faults. The Publican in contrast said, God be merciful to me a sinner. He went home justified in Gods sight rather than the Pharisee. Then Christ gives the principle of judgment, for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted. This is the principle than god uses to judge the hearts of men. Then children were brought to Christ. The disciples at first showed them away but Christ rebuked them. And said let the children come to me don’t forbid them the kingdom of God is made up of children. The kingdom of God is made up of those who have a childlike heart.
- What so you think that Christ is teaching us about prayer?
- What should be the right attitude for prayer?
- What did Christ mean by 'of such is the kingdom of God'?