75 Pray in this times
Luke 18:1-8Exodus 3:7‡T Justice was lost
Jesus is going south towards Jerusalem. Passover is approaching, time is imminent. Would Jesus have felt that there was still a lot of the thing that must be taught to his disciples? Ten teachings that were condensed briefly were continued until entry into a fortress of Jerusalem (below 19:28). The article that Luke inserted was included in it; but because we already have watched two things (17:12 -19, 17:20-37), we want to watch eight of the remainder, as possible carefully. It is from 18:1-8 this morning.
"Now He was telling a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart," (1); it is a comment of Luke from the beginning, unusually. Luke thought that this talk was difficult for a reader and he attached comment first. Of course, this is a comment of a parable of Jesus directly, but I feel a deeper thing there. Therefore, Luke does not add any explanation here. Luke seems to write this article, the truth that touches the heartstrings. Shall we hear it?
"There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God, and did not respect man. And there was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, 'Give me legal protection from my opponent.' And for a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, lest by continually coming she wear me out.'" (2-5). Probably, this would have been made from a true story. Because its contents that this widow had appealed to the judge is not written anything about, I can not understand it (Luke deleted it?), however she was "person who appealed" (ŒûŒê–ó Version, Iwanami Version), it seemed to have already become the lawsuit as the defendant with her partner. Probably, it seemed to be a civil trial, but it might have been the succession of property problem that there was very much in those days. Anyway, even if the judge is very good, because it is difficult to break the matter of sub judge from the side, the reason that she complained and this judge tried to raise his heavy hips would have been higher court (it is not necessarily to be local Sanhidorin). Even if I compare the then Jewish trial system in the present age, it is maintained so there is not inferiority; the law built up the thing which rabbis of several generations could be proud of to the history based on Law of Moses. However, such highly systems which has acclaimed and the provision are doubtful whether those were executed rightly at all, but especially, justice seemed to have been lost seriously in the days of Jesus. This parable also would have been highlighted by that why.
‡U The One who carry out justice
"Hear what the unrighteous judge said;" (6) She would have visited daily to this judge for seek help. The one who said "because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, lest by continually coming she wear me out," and raised his heavy waist, he was exactly "unrighteous judge" itself; but such a person also listened to her appeal. We must consider about "unrighteous" a little more. We should listen to the fact that Jewish community has lost the justice in the place that it should be referred trial, rather than his individuals. Luke clarified the center point of the problem by repeating "a judge who did not fear God, and did not respect man". Lack of justice in the Jewish community is due to the fact that the relationship with God is to dilute. If I say it more clearly, Israel should be the country of the priests and be the people of God, but it lost how to walk with God. It would be true to say that "unrighteous" was in a whole Jewish community. And, Luke is warning that church will never fall in such a trap, while superimposed Gentile church which is increasing. And I think, it is also a central problem for us modern people. Now, we are claiming only reason convenient to us. For the Afgan war and the Iraqi war that the United States set under the name of war on terrorism, many people are feeling absurdity. It is that Israel has separated area of the Palestinian people by the powerful military power wall, and it is that also doing of air strikes to the Palestinian area. Such absurd is full also around us. About the restructuring problem of temporary staff, and the problem of young people, they are acting violently in the coming-of-age ceremony with Samurai style; is it good to say it is the way of man who "did not fear God, and did not respect man", and also the egoism of modern people who does not fear God?
Disciples must go out to such world soon; it is the world there are people who are seeking help in the place where justice is lost. They go out with justice of God. "Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now shall not God bring about justice for His elect, who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them speedily." (6-8a) That Jesus wanted to teach to disciples, it was "There're Me". Judge to enforce justice is Jesus Himself.
‡V Pray in this times
The 21st century is gaining the degree of confusion from day to day; in such era, what can we do? Justice of God is there in this world; and it is necessary to send it from the Church. Please pay attention to God and listen to the word of God. In 1955-1965, to fill the big hole of the heart of Japanese by the big war, many missionaries had come from America. Unfortunately, probably, because they young, and because of lack of training, most of them frustrated in a short period of time, and have returned home. However, surprisingly, the majority of Japanese have heard the gospel during that period! Some people seems to have been baptized without knowing apparent reason, but people all over Japan heard that "God is Creator of heaven and earth, and He is an omnipotent", "The cross of Jesus redeems our sins, and save us"; and many people had been invited to the grace of God. Would it not be a big achievement of them (the missionaries)? But, a lot of church built in Japan after more than 60 years from the war, and now, Japanese pastor is commonplace; however, there is the case many people who had never heard the Gospel, it is the situation of modern Japan. "Even if we invite the people, they do not want to come to the church"; or "Christianity is shunned for some reason..." etc.; I also excuse so to myself for myself, but is it really so? I have heard, that a few years ago, when my wife had a child evangelism using the panel to the children in the field, some junior high school students of after school stopped and started listening and sat down soon; and then they heard the gospel story to the end. Jesus said, "if these become silent, the stones cry out!" (Luke 19:40).
Parable of this unrighteous judge was that the justice of God lacked the Jewish community. The eyes of Jesus had poured into such a people of the world, but it was changed, and it poured to disciples who would be sent to the such world. The unjust power (of this world), everyone is ripping into arbitrary desired direction; but it is being involved even into believers. The secularization of the church, it is not the things which began in the present age, but its bud had already begun in the era of Luke. "However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" (8b); for Luke, this words of Jesus would have been heard as a warning to the church at that era. His comments of the beginning must be heard in this place. To continue praying without disappointment; it surely reach the ears of Him, He will always hear it. More than anything, at the crisis of faith (definite article is attached), it will always visit, we want to hear that it is a message as a painful cry from Luke to us modern; he is saying that the daily prayer is an important preparation.