As Jesus continued to prepare His disciples for His departure, the Lord stepped back and addressed some basics. In this discussion, Jesus focused on things that move God and on things that put barrier between us. First Jesus discussed tenacity. He told a parable of a heartless judge and a tenacious old woman. The woman hounded the judge day after day until the judge relented. The judge that did not fear God or man, finally succumbed because the lady wore him out. Jesus wanted His disciples to understand that they needed to be passionate and tenacious as they sought God. He needed them to know that there were times when tenacity became more effective than might or craftiness.
Next Jesus addressed the issue of pride. He told the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. The Pharisee stood before God proud and smug that he had checked all the boxes and was one of the good ones. He was so happy he had it all together. He thought it only polite to drop by ad high 5 God, since the two of them were so much alike. Meanwhile, across the room, a sinful tax collector kneeled, in need of a touch from God. This man knew he was far from perfect. Infact, the tax collector knew God was his only hope. Jesus wanted His guys to understand that both of those men were hopeless without a touch from God, but only the humble one was ready spiritually to receive God’s touch.
In our lives, we face a broken world each day. We do our best to meet the daily challenges, and we seek the Lord’s mercy and provision. As we do, we can never quit. We must be as tenacious as the widow and as humble as the tax collector. None of us has arrived, in fact, we are not even close. We need to seek God with all our hearts, daily, in fact, continuously, as we recognize our own inability to manage this life without God and His grace. We are not perfect, nor, have we somehow spiritually arrived. David, Moses, Elijah, all men God adored were frail and defeated on their own. Their greatness came as they humbly sought the Lord.
We can do the same–recognize our imperfection, seek God, and follow Him closely. Finally, we must never stop praying for the Lord’s blessing and direction!
God Bless You
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 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?”
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”