“When the Son of Man returns, how many will He find on the earth who have faith?” (Luke 18:8, NLT)
The verse has been burning on my heart, and in my thoughts, for a few days. What led Jesus to raise this question to His disciples? What was Jesus trying to show them then, and us now, in the story which He then told …
The story is about a judge and a widow.
We are told the judge “neither feared God nor cared about people” (LukeÂ 18:2). The widow came to him persistently due to a dispute with an enemy.
The widow was being treated unjustly for several reasons:
- She was a woman and women just did not go to court.
- She was a widow and therefore, she had no husband to go with her to court, or represent her in court.
- She was poor so even if she would have wanted to bribe the judge to rule in her favor, she had no funds to do so.
Even with her repeated appearances before this judge, the judge did not make a ruling in her favor or take action to bring justice to her cause.
But the widow kept coming, she persisted in presenting her case. The judge finally sees to it that she receives justice because she flat out wore him down, or out. Perhaps he was more concerned for his own reputation in having ignored her.
Whatever the judge’s reasons were, the widow was finally heard.
Jesus then says, “Learn a lesson from this story I just told you” (my words). So what are the lessons for us today? I had several takeaways as I visited the passage yet again this morning:
- God can use anyone. Even this unjust judge finally gave a decision which brought justice to this poor widow. God will move on the hearts of men and women to guide them to defend the poor, the widows, and the orphans. His heart is for the oppressed.
- Stay persistent. The widow never gave up. She kept coming and stating her case. She pleaded with the judge, even when he was not responding. Her persistence resulted in a response. God will respond to our pleas because He loves His people and He is a just God. He responds in His time and in His way. May we never stop praying.
And that brings me back to the question which Jesus asks: “When the Son of Man returns, how many will He find on the earth who have faith?”
Jesus’ question is a challenging one. As we face troubles and crises, will we remain faithful to God, His Word, and His ways? Will we trust Him even when we do not understand His ways? Will we believe that God is at work even when we do not see His activity?
The point of the story is simple:
“One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that
they should always pray and never give up.”