Sermon Summary: June 24, 2018
“DO NOT LOSE HEART”
We are told that the judge feared neither God nor the powers of others. Perhaps this made him a good judge—judging impartially and without feeling. Jesus says he was unrighteous, which is not a comment about his abilities as a jurist. Jesus means that he had or exhibited no ability to show righteous indignation or delight.
The widow wanted no part of this. She wanted partiality to her side. “Vindicate me against my adversary!” she cried. In the end the widow provoked the judge to feeling, to passion, to partiality, for she bothered him. She got on his last nerve! He was moved to choose sides, and acquired something of what is called, “a heart.”
Does God take sides? Jesus himself asks, “Will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you He will vindicate them speedily.” If we believe, as we have good reason to, that God’s justice is preferentially directed to the poor, then they are numbered among his elect, among those who will be vindicated. This little lesson suggests that God is at least as passionate as the pestered judge. So keep praying and do not lose heart.
We lose heart when we believe that no one cares for us, that no one is on our side taking our needs to heart or loving us for who we are and what we have experienced. We lose heart when we feel like we are alone. We lose heart when we fail to pray. What we expect from God, which we do not expect from the judge, is passion for us. We expect compassion.
But our vindication is nearer than we supposed. All the widow had to do was pester the judge until he felt something. All we have to do is find God in Jesus Christ by our side—no stranger now—but someone who feels for us, and is with us. We “ought always to pray” so that the judge, as well, obtains a heart—a heart of compassion for all of us, together and separately. —USK