Sunday, October 13, 2019

Proper 24 Series C

Proper 24 Series C 
(October 16-22) 
Genesis 32:22–30
2 Timothy 3:14—4:5
Luke 18:1–8

Faith Clings to the Word and Promises of God and Perseveres in Prayer

Collect for Proper 24: “O Lord, almighty and everlasting God, You have commanded us to pray and have promised to hear us. Mercifully grant that You Holy Spirit may direct and govern our hearts in all things that we may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of Your name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.” 

Man’s “Goodness” vs. God’s Goodness (Luke 18:1-8)
Rev.Dr. Daniel J Brege

Though Scripture acknowledges that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and that there is no one who does good, not even one, and that without faith it is impossible to please God, yet as the Lord Jesus speaks of prayer He verifies that among fallen mankind a kind of “goodness” can be observed.  Though this kind of “goodness” in fallen man is to be found, yet such goodness is tainted with sinful motives, tainted with selfish desires.  Such apparent goodness must yet be purged of sin in the eyes of the Holy God.

At times Jesus would then use this warped “goodness” in the fallen world as a contrast with God’s wondrous and loving goodness—a goodness uniquely found in the giving of His Son into death for mankind’s salvation.

Our text speaks of an unrighteous judge who neither feared God nor respected man. This description indicates an outward evil of this judge being expressed because of the inner evil of his heart. Nonetheless this judge (though it was because of totally wrong motives) did good to the widow who was petitioning him. If the unrighteous judge did something good, how much more will the righteous God hear and lovingly answer the prayers of His people—for Jesus’ sake—giving them good things with the ultimate good timing that only God possesses?

As another example of this tainted goodness used by the Lord to illustrate something about approaching God in prayer, consider what Jesus says about those who come to God—asking, seeking and knocking at the ear of God.  The Lord explains, “If you then, being evil, now how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.” (Lu. 11:13).   Observe the commentary on the condition of man:  “…you, being evil.”  Yet even though people are evil, they still know how to give good gifts to their children.  Once again the giving of such good gifts by evil people is a goodness warped by sin, yet there is still a goodness—albeit tainted—that can be recognized among fallen mankind.

The contrast again is clear: If God, who is not tainted by sin, is approached by His children, won’t He give what is good—ultimately the Holy Spirit—to those children who ask?

Why would God hear the requests of sinful people who live in a sinful world?  Who are His children that He should listen to them? It is only because there is one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.  Our approach to our Father in prayer can only happen because God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not counting their trespasses against them.  Indeed, whatever we ask the Father in Jesus name (that is, consistent with who He is and what He is about), the Father will give it to us.  Yes, the Righteous Judge, the good Father who loves His children infinitely more than any earthly Father—this One will always hear us for Christ’s sake.

Left alone,” Jacob wrestled through the night with the Lord, “until the breaking of the day” (Genesis 32:24). Though “Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him” (Genesis 32:25), he would not let go until the Lord blessed him. At times we, too, strive with God; He strives with us and blesses us by grace. So Jesus teaches us “always to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1). Jesus speaks of “a judge who neither feared God nor respected man” and of a widow “who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary’ ” (Luke 18:2–3). Because of her persistence, the judge agreed to “give her justice” (Luke 18:5). Our Lord dispenses justice generously and swiftly, giving “justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night” (Luke 18:7). He does so according to the Gospel. Therefore, His ministers are to persevere faithfully in their vocation, in what they “have learned and have firmly believed” (2 Timothy 3:14). On the basis of “the sacred writings” (2 Timothy 3:15), they are to “preach the word” at all times and not lose heart (2 Timothy 4:2).

Luke 18:1–8
The Parable of the Persistent Widow

Luke 18:1
Ἔλεγεν [a]δὲ παραβολὴν αὐτοῖς πρὸς τὸ δεῖν πάντοτε προσεύχεσθαι [b]αὐτοὺς καὶ μὴ ἐγκακεῖν,
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.

ἐγκακεῖν, do not...stop, loosing heart. Become weary, loose confidence.

Luke 18:2 
λέγων• Κριτής τις ἦν ἔν τινι πόλει τὸν θεὸν μὴ φοβούμενος καὶ ἄνθρωπον μὴ ἐντρεπόμενος
He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man.

-Jesus will call him "unjust" in v.6 Arguing from the greater to the lesser he has no regard for God or for man.

Luke 18:3 
χήρα δὲ ἦν ἐν τῇ πόλει ἐκείνῃ καὶ ἤρχετο πρὸς αὐτὸν λέγουσα• Ἐκδίκησόν με ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀντιδίκου μου
And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 

- continued action. She kept coming to him.

ἀντιδίκου - the "unrighteous" or anti righteous opponent.

Luke 18:4 
καὶ οὐκ [c]ἤθελεν ἐπὶ χρόνον, μετὰ [d]ταῦτα δὲ εἶπεν ἐν ἑαυτῷ• Εἰ καὶ τὸν θεὸν οὐ φοβοῦμαι [e]οὐδὲ ἄνθρωπον ἐντρέπομαι
For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man,

Luke 18:5 
διά γε τὸ παρέχειν μοι κόπον τὴν χήραν ταύτην ἐκδικήσω αὐτήν ἵνα μὴ εἰς τέλος ἐρχομένη ὑπωπιάζῃ με
yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’”

ὑπωπιάζῃ - blacken my eye, pester, wearing me down...

- "this troublesome widow"

Luke 18:6 
εἶπεν δὲ ὁ κύριος• Ἀκούσατε τί ὁ κριτὴς τῆς ἀδικίας λέγει• 
And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 

- listen to this one

Luke 18:7 
ὁ δὲ θεὸς οὐ μὴ ποιήσῃ τὴν ἐκδίκησιν τῶν ἐκλεκτῶν αὐτοῦ τῶν βοώντων [f]αὐτῷ ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτός, καὶ [g]μακροθυμεῖ ἐπ’ αὐτοῖς
And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 

-God makes justice for His elect

- will he not surely - be slow to help,  delay
Luke 18:8 
λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ποιήσει τὴν ἐκδίκησιν αὐτῶν ἐν τάχει. πλὴν ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐλθὼν ἆρα εὑρήσει τὴν πίστιν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς;
I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

- The faith see 2 Timothy 4:4 
The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software

English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Lectionary notes LCMS notes
Lutheran Service Book Copyright © 2006, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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