February 23, 2018

Knowing That Justice Will Come

Luke 18:1-8

Because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!

—  Luke 18:5

Jesus told this parable to emphasize that his followers—­including us—should “always pray and not give up.” It’s easy to get tired of praying for the same thing over and over again. It’s much more exciting when we see immediate results to our prayers. But things don’t always work that way.

The widow in this story had grown accustomed to being ignored. How often did she keep coming to see the judge? Again and again and again! The judge got very tired of her and realized she would not quit. The plea was always the same: “Grant me justice against my adversary.” The job of the judge was to enforce the laws of justice and make things right. She knew she had been wronged, and she knew justice would come, so she persisted till the judge finally helped.

The disciples began to catch the point of Jesus’ story. God, who is just, would always listen to their pleas for justice. But they didn’t always see justice and prayer working together. They could only see God’s silence and his slowness in making things right in the world. Jesus taught them a powerful lesson about persistent prayer, by which we learn to see God’s kingdom emerging even in the shadows of injustice and silence.

Are you learning this lesson too?

Dear Jesus, like the disciples, we need to learn patience and persistence in prayer. Help us to see your hand at work and be grateful. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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