Summary: This sermon blends together Luke 18: 1 - 8 and Deuteronomy 1: 16 - 17 to arrive at a description of the faith God expects from Christians.
Any Faith Left? Luke 18: 1 - 8
Intro: A young entrepreneur came a “dry town” to build a tavern. He was not breaking any laws to do so. The community was just conservatively religious. A group of members from the various churches in town met and prayed for God to intervene. That night the tavern was struck by lightening and burned to the ground. The owner, being aware of the activities of the “church people,” sued each congregation in the city. Of course, the church people denied any responsibility. However, the judge hearing the case said at the beginning of the trial: “No matter what the outcome, one thing is clear. The tavern owner believes in prayer and Christians do not!”
I. Deut. 1:16-17 – “And I charge your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. You shall not respect persons in judgment; but you shall hear the small as well as the great; you shall not be afraid of the face of man; for judgment is God’s.”
A. This judge appointed by Herod or Romans.
B. Verse 2 – “neither feared God nor had respect for people.
C. What’s in it for me – some people pray that way.
II. Verse 3 – “There was a widow . . . “
A. represents the poor and oppressed
B. she is persistent – “can’t win him over, wear him down.”
C. Judge spoke of her using terms from boxing arena - boxers leaving with cuts and bruises on faces and blackened eyes.
III. Verses 6 – 8 with emphasis on “when the Son of Man comes will he find faith on the earth?” Depends on how you define faith.
A. faith = allegiance to duty or person / believe in something for which there is no proof / fidelity to one’s promises.”
B. “The blight of worldliness, the threat of war, the spread of selfish propaganda make the church a deleaguered garrison in a hostile land rather than a conquering army.”
C. To those who have it in their power to relieve the distress of the widow, the orphan, and the stranger but do not, the call to prayer night and day is a command to let the priorities of God’s compassion reorder the priorities of their lives.
Conclu: the question is not IF the Son of Man comes but WHEN he comes. These verses bid us stand fast in the faith. We are not asked to always succeed or to do great things; but, only to bear witness and be faithful.