FROM NAGGING TO BLESSINGS!
Luke 18:1-8; I John 5:14, 15; Mark 6:41
Today’s passage is a parable told by Jesus. Sounds simple enough. This unique story, however, is about a nameless widow in a nameless city who nags a nameless judge for justice until the judge grants her request. The punch is: Jesus TEACHES us of prayer by telling this very curious story.
Today’s message is designed to accomplish several objectives:
- change your attitude about and approach to prayer;
- encourage you to become more aggressive when you pray;
- help you overcome obstacles when you pray;
- empower you to pray more efficaciously when you know you are right; and
- learn how to NAG The Lord effectively!
NAG: to annoy or irritate a person with continuous urging.
A JUDGE – v. 2
- A judge who neither feared God nor respected people was, by Biblical standards, a bad judge. Exodus 18:21; Leviticus 19:15,16
- The judge was supposed to settle disputes fairly and to restore justice.
- The woman did not allow the bad judge or his reputation to deter her.
- You will not allow anyone – or their reputation – to deter you from getting what you know God has for you!
A WIDOW – v. 3
- Widows, in Israelite tradition, were very vulnerable: a) they could not inherit their husband’s property; b) there was no social welfare program; and c) there was no opportunity for independent employment for them.
- In this story, the judge is the widow’s only hope for justice. And, he is a bad judge!
- What do you do when your only solution to your problem is in the hands of an unjust person?
A MONOLOGUE – vv. 4, 5
- The reader hears the judge’s interior monologue. Like the rich man (12:17-19); the prodigal son (15:17-19); and the dishonest manager (16:1-12), the judge talks to himself.
- The judge decides to grant the widow justice ONLY so she will not “hit him in the eye.”
- The judge does the unexpected thing in response to a powerless widow!
- He does the unexpected simply because he wants her to stop bugging him!
A DECISION – v. 7
- In this context, “quickly” does not refer to chronology. It means, instead, that
God will not hesitate to vindicate those who call on Him!
- As a believer in Jesus Christ, you are a member of the elect. Romans 8:33
- So, call on Him!
- Jesus’ followers should have the endurance of the “long pull” that faith requires. You gotta learn to have and implement “long pull” faith by nagging.
- Luke discourages presumption about when Jesus will return. Have faith until He does return.
- Meanwhile, “nag” God for what you know He has, including justice.
- The widow appeared before the judge in a courtroom.
You, on the other hand, can appear before God in His Throne Room. Hebrews 4:14-16
- The judge did not care about the widow.
God, on the other hand, cares! Luke 11:3
- The widow did not have legal access to the judge.
You, on the other hand, have legal access to God at all times! Ephesians 2:18
- The widow did not have the promises of God to rely on.
You, on the other hand, do! Romans 8:26
- The widow petitioned the judge from poverty.
You, on the other hand, petition God from a position of riches. Philippians 4:19
Source: The People’s New Testament Commentary by Fred Craddock and M. Boring
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