Luke 18: 1-14

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Luke 18: 1-14

Post by vaneckb on Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:34 pm

Now he was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying, “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. 3 And there was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ 4 And for a while he was unwilling. But afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, lest by her continual coming she wear me out.’” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge said! 7 Now shall not God bring about justice for his elect who cry to him day and night, and will he delay long over them? 8
I tell you that he will bring about justice for them speedily. However,
when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” 9
And he also told this parable to certain ones who trusted in themselves
that they were righteous and viewed others with contempt. 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax gatherer. 11
The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, ‘God, I thank thee
that I am not like other men: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even
like this tax gatherer. 12 I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all I get.’ 13
But the tax gatherer, standing some distance away, was even unwilling
to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying,
‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this
man went down to his house justified rather than the other. For
everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles
himself shall be exalted.”

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Re: Luke 18: 1-14

Post by vaneckb on Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:39 pm

As before these are my thoughts (and thoughts I picked up from others) and not meant as divine truth. If you think I'm wrong please say so (but at least say why and back it up with good reasoning) I've been known to be wrong once or twice (or like 50 million times) and I'd far rather be rebuked and corrected than mollycoddled.

Vs 1: Talking to the disciples presumably. This could mean
the twelve, but I think it more likely it is refereeing to all the people who
were following him to learn from him. Either way it is included in the bible
and so is meant for us to learn from. Also it ACTUALLY SAYS what the parable is
about, which is highly unusual, and what it is supposed to mean. Essentially
always to pray and not to give up. So why does it tell us the meaning of
this parable and not others?
(haven’t really got a clue on this one, sorry,
maybe it is just that Luke understood the meaning enough to feel confident when
writing about it to say what it meant, or maybe it is particularly important
that we follow this command even if we don’t understand the parable, I don’t
really know)

Vs 2-3 A judge, presumably a well respected and powerful man
in this city, and a widow, just about the least influential of people in this
culture. Yet she goes to him over and over asking for justice. She asks for
justice not for a boon or a favor, what is the difference? Does it matter what
she is asking?
(to ask for justice is to ask for what the judge should be
giving, what it is his job to give. She does not ask for a boon or a favor, or
for something contrary to the judge’s position.)

Vs 4-5 This judge cares not about justice, neither God’s nor
man, for he does not fear God or respect man. He cares only for himself. Yet
because the widow keeps asking for justice and is persistent in the end she
gets it.

Vs 6-8a Will God not
give justice to the elect who cry to him night and day? Even the judge who
cares only for himself will give justice to one who asks him persistently, but
God is Justice, God is GOOD. God is the very embodiment of Good, Truth,
Justice, Peace, everything that should be that is what God is, and most
importantly he is love, and, for reasons I find hard to understand he even
loves me, who would defy him over and over. If even a selfish man will give
justice to one who is persistent how much more will God hear and answer our
prayers. He LOVES US. He cares about us, and he loves justice. How little faith
it should take to pray to him always if we can understand even the slightest
part of who he is, which we can because he has revealed some small part of
himself to us, how could we do anything BUT pray to him always. Why does
this talk of praying for justice, rather than simply praying in general? Is it
referring to praying in general?
(I think perhaps it is trying to make an
important distinction. Praying for something a lot is NOT always going to get
you what you are praying for. It is praying for what is God’s will that he will
answer. One of God’s defining traits is that he is just. To pray for your own
will contrary to God’s is not going to convince him to change.)

Vs 8b At first glance seems very random, but I think perhaps
I see what it is referring to. First off it is important to note the previous
story he was telling to his disciples, in which he discussed the second coming
of Christ, and then he told this parable. (I think maybe there is another point
to this parable, that Jesus is trying to say something like: God is there to be
seen if you just have eyes to look and the faith to talk to him, and he will
give you the justice you ask for if you seek it from him. I see God everywhere
I look and in everything I do. I see God’s hand in the trees and the sky, in
the beautiful elegant simplicity of the smallest cell to the impossible
complexity of a human. I see him in class, in the rules we study that govern
the universe. It is far to complex for me to understand, but yet in a way it is
amazing in it’s simple elegance. I see him in my friends, in my family, I am
amazed by his brilliance when I take a drink or eat something, the brilliance
of making something we must do every day so enjoyable, I see him every time I
take a step, a seemingly simple process that is still beyond our ability to
model or replicate, and mostly I see the way he works in the world. The
occasions where people stand up for good against the forces of evil. The people
willing to die before denying him in their lives. How he provides us with so
many of the blessings and the justice we so arrogantly demand. But for all this
I can only see it when I look. It’s blindingly obvious that God is there and
that he cares for me if I am willing to see, but it is so hard to always
remember to look for him. I am blinded by my own arrogance and sin so that I
often fail to see where God is working.)

I don’t think this parable means we need to be sending
a constant stream of words to God. I think perhaps it refers more to paying
attention to God. It’s trying to make a decision and asking God and considering
what he would have you do for even the most minor of things. It’s wondering at
his brilliance for making e=mc^2. It is seeing him in others instead of
thinking only of their effect upon us. It is seeking his will and then seeking
to carry it out, and yes it is also talking to him, asking for his help, and
even asking for those things we need or want when appropriate, for he does love
us and want us to be happy. We should pray without ceasing, we should walk with
God in all things.

Wow, that was way more talking than I meant to do, but hey, there are a lot worse things than getting carried away talking about God. I'll post the second half later.

vaneckb

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Re: Luke 18: 1-14

Post by vaneckb on Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:50 pm

I found this interesting story that goes along with this first parable in my searches online.

"The first parable is very interesting in the light of an account by H.
B. Tristram of a courtroom in Iraq (before the Gulf wars), in Bailey’s
fascinating book Through Peasant Eyes. The proceedings were
conducted in an open courtyard with an unruly crowd milling about. At
one end, on a raised dais, sat the judge on cushions, surrounded by
secretaries and other functionaries. The plaintiffs in the crowd had
all pushed their way through to that end of the courtyard and were
crying for attention—but the judge and his cronies acted as if they did
not even hear them. Meanwhile, the prudent slipped certain envelopes to
the secretaries, who then conferred together. They finally went and
whispered to the judge, who then called out the first case to be
heard—in order of the highest bribe. But there was a poor woman there
who screamed so loud she even disturbed the chaos. She was repeatedly
told to shut up, but she only screamed the louder, “Not until he hears
me!” it was impossible for normal business to be conducted. Finally,
out of exasperation, the judge himself interrupted the secretaries.
“What in Allah’s name does that woman want?” It turned out that she was
a widow whose only son had been drafted, which according to Iraqi law
meant she should have been exempt from taxes. But the tax collector
kept harassing her anyway. “Let her be exempt!” the judge cried
impatiently, and business in the court returned to normal. One of the
bystanders explained to Tristram, “It was an open and shut case. If she
had had money for a bribe, she would have been heard days ago.”"

http://doulomen.tripod.com/sermons/Luke18_1-14.htm

Just in case you didn't really think this was what would happen.

vaneckb

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Re: Luke 18: 1-14

Post by Boomerwang on Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:48 am

Wow, that's really cool.
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Boomerwang

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