And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
After finishing his parable about the persistent widow and the unjust judge, Jesus offered a few words of interpretation, a quick commentary on his own story. Jesus said that God secures justice for his people, so much more generously and quickly than the unjust judge. As we pray, we can trust in God’s goodness, kindness and mercy. Jesus’ words bring us encouragement and hope, but then He adds a final question that should linger in our hearts. Jesus wonders what He will find when He returns. Will He find people who pray persistently and faithfully? Or will He find people who demand things of God but don’t actually trust in God’s goodness?
Jesus is asking us this question. It takes the form of a rhetorical question, one that He didn’t expect people to answer out loud, but it’s really a prophetic question that invites us to look deeply into our hearts and discern the quality of our faith. In that sense, Jesus does expect an answer. In fact, He expects a commitment, a devotional response from each of us. If Jesus were to return today, what evidence of faith would He find in your life? Could He tell how much you trust in God by the choices you make each day, by how you use your time, by your relationships, by the words you speak and by the prayers you lift up? Would He see that when you pray, you wait on God’s answer like the persistent widow who knew the unjust judge was her only hope for justice, or would He see that your trust in God is only half-hearted and that you depend more on your own strength, ingenuity and wealth?
Faith is what separates persistent prayer that God honors from bothersome grumbling that God ignores. When we pray from faith-filled hearts, we not only ask God to help us, but we also wait on his reply. We stop searching desperately for our own solutions and cease giving attention to fears and worries. We pray with a faith that does not give up on the goodness of God. The widow knew the unjust judge was her only hope, so she kept asking him for justice. In faith, we declare that our gracious, wise, powerful God is our only hope, so we keep praying that He will provide, protect and bless. May Jesus find faith in our hearts and hear it in the words of our prayers.
Lord, You are good, and I trust in Your justice and mercy. Please fill my heart with faith. Hear my prayers and answer in the time and the way You know is best. I pray with faith in Jesus my Savior. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian