I love Jesus' narrative style teaching. It is such a cross cultural genius. It works everywhere, in every culture among every people group.
So he tells a story of a widow who goes to see a judge (Luke 18:1-8). Her persistence pursuance of the judge was a source of much irritation and frustration. One could imagine the judge simply wanting peace and the right to be left alone. But the widow would not. She "kept coming to him". He held his ground offering her little audience and certainly not action in response to her endless appeal.
Eventually however he relented. Her perpetual "bothering" him and fear that she would "eventually come and attack me", resulted in him giving her both an audience as well as a response.
Jesus immediately explains if a "unjust judge" grants justice, will not God bring "justice for his chosen ones who cry out to him day and night"?
The front end of this narrative tells us this was a story "Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up". The back end of the story reads "when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth".
Our theology fashions our behavior!
In our quest to build Word / Spirit churches, I am not hearing nearly enough about the power of faith in our God stories. Into the reformed subculture, an element of fatalism creeps in if we drift from faith and overly rely on our sovereignty theology. The call to strong sustained prayer, matched with growing faith is clear in this captivating little story.
I have been going through the whole of the New Testament and highlighted every time faith occurs in the text. It is invigorating and inspiring. It mobilizes and mesmerizes. It creates and catalyzes. Jesus tells us to persistent prayer matched with firing faith, moves the hand of the "unjust judge"...well what about the true, just judge?
The adventures that lie before us require growing, activating faith. Lets see what that looks like...