“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1
Always pray. Don’t give up praying. That is the meaning of the parable Jesus is about to tell us. We don’t even need to read it to find the meaning. It’s clear.
When we do read it we find the parable of the unjust judge who provides justice for the widow because she is a persistent (maybe even annoying) person. Jesus is saying to us, if that is what an unjust, powerful official does for their subjects, God will surely bring justice to his chosen ones.
He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ 4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” 6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 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? 8 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?” Luke 18: 2-8
A little while after this parable we come to the story of the rich young ruler. A man who would not give up his great wealth and follow Jesus to earn his salvation.
18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’[a]” 21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said. 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?” Luke 18:18-26
I feel for the rich young ruler. Immediately after I read this I hesitated to pray, ‘Lord take my riches if that’s what it takes for me to be a true follower of you.’ Clearly – there is still room for sanctification to happen in my heart. But Jesus tells us, “What is impossible with man is possible with God” (Luke 18:27), so there’s hope for me yet.
In fact Jesus goes on to promise us that those who leave everything to follow him will get more than that in this age… and in the age to come. That means in this life and the next! What a promise!? It just takes some trust.
29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.” Luke 18:29-30
At the end of this chapter we see a little bit of a call back to the parable of the unjust judge. A blind man yells at Jesus as he is walking by and continues to call out to him despite others telling him to stop and to be quiet. The blind man is persistent. Jesus hears him. Asks him how he can help. And then gives him sight.
35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. 42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” 43 Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God. Luke 18:35-43
Always pray. Don’t give up praying. Our just God will hear you.
This post is following my previous post; traveling through the snake of our reality to the beginning, before sin influenced the human heart and mind, to the time when God spoke and our existence began.
So here we are before the Big Bang. The place of everlasting! Or at least… a place where the human heart ‘without God’ is challenged to believe Ecclesiastes 3(AMP): “11He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.“
At first I felt discouraged when reading that passage because my heart wanted to know the beginning from the end—like Jeremiah describes in chapter 17(AMP) : “9 The heart is deceitful above all things And it is extremely sick; Who can understand it fully and know its secret motives? “. My heart and mind wants to know the beginning from the end because it desires control over my environment and also to possess every piece of knowledge that is learned as though to claim it as as my own.
Like claiming my vehicle once it’s paid off, it’s all mine as though I caused the material to emerge and exist just for me…and all I needed to do was hire the appropriate resources to form and fashion it into a vehicle so I can own it like a god.
But thankfully in the next verse, I see who knows the secret motives of my heart and understands me intimately: “10 I, the Lord, search and examine the mind, I test the heart, To give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.“. And so with that understanding, by the grace of God, I’m humbled at this realization that the pride and lust produced in the human heart is given mercy for change and grace for salvation.
Because as you can see, my heart, without mercy, is unwilling to be changed from the arrogant state of thinking that “I own the elemental properties of components that forms and fashions me into tomorrow”. And whats worse but to reject the grace of God extended through His Word as the source and resource of and for the salvation of my existence.
As I think about the next passage of scripture, I smirk at the thought of us talking about God as though He weren’t present right here and now to be spoken to, Himself.
If indeed this passage means what I think it does, then, Yes… it is quite nonsensical ‘not to’ ask God directly about the “birth” of our beginning just like we would our own human parents about the time of our human births. And so by asking God that question, I’m taken to…
(John 1:1-5 NASB)1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
For what it’s worth at my birth… HA! That rhymed! My mom tried to kill me by rapping the umbilical cord around my neck… twice! But because I have the neck of Aquaman, it was too strong and nearly killed my mom by the amount of blood loss.
That’s the most epic, nearly true, human birth story ever to be told. But it doesn’t end there. See, it was at my birth that the meaning of ‘jealousy’ became an experience for the rest of humankind… (because everyone all the sudden felt how inadequate their necks are compared to mine) …I’m not sorry.
Yah… You right! I’ll go back and re-read those proverbs before I continue…
…Okay, good to go.
Now… where was I?…
Ahh… that’s right, John 1:1-5…
1 In the beginning…
Now while the Big Bang Theory is a sitcom full of entertainment, it’s also a vital theory of our time in the 21st century attempting to explain how the universe began 13.8 billion years ago by a singularity, or from “phasing” into view made possible through the advanced knowledge and resources of today. However, where I think this theory misses the mark is leaving out the spiritual component.
The language that declares the birth of creation is a spiritual language.
A relatable example to this spiritual language spoken is like when you hear people speak in tongues, and while it may sound like gibberish (that I myself quite frankly don’t make sense of) is still understood as prayer that is reflecting the intimate language and culture of everlasting life through the Holy Spirit.
And that is what I believe to think John is doing here in his literature through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God.
He’s writing in a spiritual language that can only be interpreted through the anointing of the Word of God upon the believing person hearing this gospel, because just as the prophet Jeremiah had said, only the Lord knows the secret motives of the human heart. So with honest self examination of your heart, do you really believe in Jesus Christ?
That might be a question to reflect on as we continue on together, but I hope you’ll find the confidence in your own heart to be open for believing as we move through the semantics of spiritual language.
The interpretation of this passage is that Jesus Christ is the living Word of God, and is in fact, God, and nothing can exist apart from Jesus Christ.
And I think an efficient way to enlighten a skeptics perspective is to workout the verses backward. The reason being is because, well… when reading: 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. The meaning is that if you’re a skeptic hearing the gospel with a heart closed off to God will not understand to comprehend the truth of: 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. And so because you’re already convinced about the darkness your in, you see no need for light.
To understand how Jesus Christ is the Light of men is to willingly change the condition of your heart. Because Jesus is not going to force the darkness in which you choose to accept for yourself out of you. You must have a heart receptive to: 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. Or you’re choosing to live in darkness for the sake of your own pride and lust, unwilling to be subject to the truth of which means to save you out from our present age of darkness and death.
3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
In verse 3 we can see how even darkness came into being throughHim (Jesus Christ), not for evil as you might suppose, but for good. However, the darkness did not comprehend the Light because darkness has no function other than to be dark, until of course, the darkness is exposed by the Light and is receptive to a new purpose. And therefore is converted to be transformed and function in light of that purpose. No longer to be darkness.
But lets say the darkness representing the skeptic is not receptive to the Light representing Jesus Christ, what then? Well then what more is there for you to function as than darkness possessed by the dark, seeing how Jesus is the life and light of men giving us a new purpose? You instead choose darkness.
And for what, for the sake of objecting the truth about the Light for personal preference? Did you program the chemical and biological nature of which caused your parents to produce you?
To object the Light is to reject the nature of it, which means to reject the life and love of God in which gives you existence.
When you speak the word, “Love!” out loud. What do you think it means? It could mean an infinite number of things. But what if we exercise our ability to think of a person or even an animal that we love, to say out loud, “I love you.” What do you think happens, do you think that the phrase spoken goes out from you without having an effect to affect that person or pet?
Now what if we apply that concept to when God spoke?
When God opened His mouth to speak for existence to come into being, do you think that His Word spoken did not effect to affect all of existence? What scientific term do you think God spoke for the fundamental properties of elements that make up our cosmos to exist?
If you’re thinking man-made terminology you’ll get the answer wrong every time. However, if we consider the meaning of naming a child or a pet. I think we’ll begin to realize just how important it was for God to give the name “Emmanuel” when Jesus Christ was born. Because the name means, “God with us”. And so in spiritual terms, that Name, the name of Jesus Christ is the very program of which gives function to our existence.
And you should know what function that is by now, but in case you don’t, it’s… LOVE! And so love is His language in which programmed our “beginning” as it were, for existence to be experienced as a true reality. And not just a dream world.
Just like when you opened your mouth to speak, “I love you”, to a loved one. You already had the motive and intention in your heart programmed before opening your mouth to speak and give that phrase an effective affection to that loved one.
Well in the same way, before God opened His mouth to speak our existence into being, His Word was first produced from within His heart and mind. And once the programming to the nature of His Word was fulfilled, He spoke, and therefore we are. Because God is the I AM, therefore, WE ARE.
Jesus Christ is the very Word of God spoken out of the Mouth of God to carry out the Gospel of God for the Salvation of God to all willing to accept the Revelation of God because…“1 In the beginning was Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ was with God, and Jesus Christ was God. 2 Jesus was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Jesus, and apart from Jesus nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Jesus was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
So now before we move into the “epoch” or phase to our existence, please know with confidence that you have access to a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ (the heart and mind of God)!
Until next time…
Examine the secret motives of your heart and be honest about the nature of your intentions.
Ask yourself, “What does it mean to believe in Jesus Christ?”
Ask yourself, “Am I willing to accept available access to a relationship with God through the Word of Jesus Christ?”