This Sunday we’ll be reading the parable of the Unjust Judge as we continue our study in Luke, reading ch 18:1-8. Luke introduces it as a parable about prayer, but a surface reading of it actually raises more questions than it does provide answers.
It’s another unusual parable where the title character is a scoundrel – so it’s important that we don’t assume he represents God. What we’ll find is that it is an analogy by contrast. If an unjust judge can be worn down so as to eventually provide justice to a pestering widow, certainly God will provide justice for his children.
Here’s the thing – this is a parable which is dealing with a specific aspect of prayer, not a general treatise on the nature of prayer or how to get any prayer answered. We don’t want to take away an assumption that if we keep pestering God to fire our boss, we’ll finally wear him down and He’ll do it. All things in Scripture have to work together.
Remember the context of the end of chapter 17 – Jesus was talking about the coming of God’s Kingdom, which would restore and redeem this broken world. That is the context in which we need to read this parable. It’s an encouragement to continue in our hope and prayer for a new world to come.
What do you find most challenging about prayer? How often does justice figure into your times of prayer? In what ways might we pray for God’s justice and goodness to invade this earth?
I hope you can join us this Sunday as we delve into this intriguing story – and we’ll be celebrating communion as well!