Will He Find Such Faith on Earth? [Luke 18]
1Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, 2saying, "In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. 3"There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, 'Give me legal protection from my opponent.' 4"For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, 'Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, 5yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.'"
6And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge said; 7now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? 8"I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"
9And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10"Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11"The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: 'God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12'I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.'
13"But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!' 14"I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."
15And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them. 16But Jesus called for them, saying, "Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17"Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all."
Jesus told the first life story to show us that we need to pray always and not become discouraged. He told the second story to emphasize what He meant by praying. Then He held up the little child to demonstrate what that faith needed to look like. But tucked inside He was giving us a picture of God's nature so that we could respond in such a way - praying always and not being discouraged.
Why should we pray without discouragement? Because of God. "Will not God grant justice to His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay to help him? I tell you He will swiftly grant them justice" (v.7, Holman, CSB).
However, will He find such faith on earth? What is this kind of faith? Faith that doesn't trust in myself that I am righteous and faith that doesn't look down on everyone else. Faith that comes from crying out, "God, be merciful to me, the sinner!" Faith that knows how desperately I need God's mercy and compassion. Faith like a child who trusts his Father to lead him into the kingdom, knowing He can do nothing apart from Him.
Please Lord, grant me that childlike faith today so that when You come again, you will find that faith in me.
We praise You that You are a Good Father and You desire to be in a two-way conversation with us always!
Verna McCrillis, 12/25/2009