Parable of the Unjust Judge
Bad judges have highlighted the news more than ever the last few weeks with so many judges exercising extreme lenience that is not helping. Bail reform now let’s criminals right back on the street. It’s one thing for a judge to be merciful, but quite another thing to give a slap on the wrist that means nothing, with no justice being accomplished.
Looting is now basically legal as long as you don’t steal more than $950 of merchandise. And crime is skyrocketing today because you can so easily get away with it. You’ve seen the rail tracks littered with stolen packages?
"Jessica's Law" [championed by Bill O'Reilly]
Ill.—John Couey—who abducted, raped, and killed 9 year old Jessica Lunsford, buried alive in a trash bag, was sentenced to death for the crime but died of anal cancer before his sentence could be carried out. You may ask, where’s the injustice in that? The injustice was in the form of previous judges who gave him probation even though he was a repeat sex offender of little ones, and despite Couey stating in a recorded deposition his desire to be locked away because he would do it again if not! After he was sentenced he said, “At least now I’ll never do that again.”
“Jessica’s Law” is saving lives in most states now, w/ a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years for first time offenders, and repeat offenders get mandatory life in prison.
A few years ago a man in Seattle, WA is in the news for his ‘how to’ child predator website, teaching others how to abduct children, abuse them, and get away with it. Shockingly, he is breaking no laws, and in an interview said he would do what he writes about if not for the stiff laws now in place.
The point of all of this is justice being done, for injustice is a travesty. And tonite’s parable is not about an unjust judge as it is about the Just Judge of the universe, Jehovah God. We’ll come back to that in a minute.
This parable is also all about prayer. Evidently the element of persistence in prayer was very important to Jesus...
v. 1 “men ought always to pray and not to faint”
In this parable we find a persistent widow, and we already studied the parable of the persistent friend [at midnight, Luke 11].
Are we persistent in our prayers? Or have we lost heart? Let's see what we can glean about prayer and much more…
This poor widow woman had no clout or respect in her day, when you needed to know someone to get a judge to do anything. But she is persistent!
AT LAST THE JUDGE HEEDS HER COMPLAINT - Lk 18:4b-5
1. Not out of any sense for what was right in the sight of God or man
2. But only to avoid being wearied by her constant appeals
This parable is not comparing the judge to God, but contrasting the two. Jesus never is trying to teach that we have to pull blessings out of God, but that we should be persistent, and how much the Judge of the universe cares for us.
SHALL NOT GOD AVENGE HIS OWN ELECT?
1. This is an argument from the lesser to the greater
a. If an unjust judge will heed a persistent widow...
b. ...how much more then will a Just God heed His chosen people!
2. Our assurance is even stronger when we note the following contrasts:
The Widow God's People
a. A stranger a. His elect, 1 Pet 2:9-10
b. Only one b. We are many
c. At a distance c. We can come boldly, Heb 4:15-16
d. An unjust judge d. A righteous Father
e. On her own e. God is for us, Rom 8:31-32
f. Pleads her own case f. We have an Advocate, Rom 8:34
g. No promise of an answer g. Promise given, Lk 18:8a
h. Access limited h. Access unlimited (can pray to
i. Asking provoked judge i. Asking delights God
3. If persistence paid off for the widow, how much more for God's elect who pray?
GOD WILL AVENGE HIS ELECT! V. 7
1. He may ‘bear long’ with the prayers of His persecuted people...
a. For example, cf. Rev 6:9-10
b. His longsuffering may be to give the persecutors time to repent 2 Pet 3:9 [we usually only quote the last half!]
2. But when His vengeance comes, it will come swiftly!
a. There is a Day coming in which God will take vengeance
- cf. 2 Th 1:7-9
b. And when it comes, there will be "sudden destruction" with
no way of escape - cf. 1 Th 5:1-3
WILL THERE BE FAITH ON THE EARTH WHEN HE COMES?
1. The Lord will come, avenging His elect
2. But His delay may prompt some to lose faith (implying lack of prayer is indicative of a lack of faith!)
Ill.—we should regularly pray for God’s return, as Jesus commanded us to in His model prayer “Thy kingdom come…”
3. The Lord's concern over such is what prompts this parable!
a. That men always ought to pray
b. That men not faint [lose heart]
Have you begun to lose heart? Has your faith weakened?
The state of your "prayer life" reveals the true condition of your faith!
If you do not pray "always" (cf. "without ceasing" 1 Th 5:17), your faith is waning!
But the Lord has given us reason to believe in the power of prayer in this parable...
Especially when we are persecuted for the cause of Christ…for we do not serve an unjust judge, but a God who has made us His elect people!
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