Summary: This sermon talks about the need for persistence within the christian attitude.
The other day I got a chance to watch one of my favorite movies, and that is Rocky. It’s a real spiritual movie. As I watched it, I thought, why is it that people love Rocky so much. Was it for his accent? His intelligence? No, it was because of his heart. When Rocky would fight, it didn’t matter how many times he got knocked down, Rocky always got back up.
You know, the people who I’ve come to expect over the years are not the flashy or even the most gifted people, but it’s the people who never quit. Those who hang in there and never give up. Like Rocky Balboa, they get knocked down, but they never stay down, they’re always back up on their feet, rearing‘ to go. The Reality in life is that you will get knocked down. It happens to even the best.
Many years ago, During a Monday night football game between the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants, one of the announcers observed that Walter Payton, the Bears’ running back, had accumulated over nine miles in career rushing yardage. The other announcer remarked, "Yeah, and that’s
with someone knocking him down every 4.6 yards!" Even the best get knocked down, but what makes them the best is they get back up. The key to success is to get up and run again just as hard. The key is to be persistent.
Now in our text, we see a woman who could teach us a thing or two about what it means to never, never give up. And this morning, if you are on the edge, and you’re considering giving up on your marriage, on your family, or even on your faith, be attentive to what is said this morning, and learn from this woman some key lessons on how to never give up.
The first lesson I want us to see here is that we should never give up, even when obstacles block our path. Luke 18:1-3, “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ’Grant me justice against my adversary.” Now this lady faced many obstacles that stood in the path of what she wanted to get done. She wanted justice to be served. We’re not told of the specific offense that was made against her, but she wanted to see that justice was done, and many things stood in her path. The first obstacle was her situation.
Now as we study this parable, realize that this is not a modern day court scene like we imagine it to be. There is no Ben Matlock here. Try to see it in its Eastern setting. The “courtroom” was not a fine building but a tent that was moved from place to place as the judge covered his circuit. The judge, not the law, set the agenda; and he sat regally in the tent, surrounded by his assistants. Anybody could watch the proceedings from the outside, but only those who were approved and accepted could have their cases tried. This usually meant bribing one of the assistants so that he would call the judge’s attention to the case.
So the widow started off with three strikes against her already. First, being a woman she had little standing before the law. In the Palestinian society of our Lord’s day, women simply did not go to court. Court was for the wealthy men. Woman in that day were considered to be little more than an animal, or merely a possession of their husbands. She had little if none rights whatsoever. Second, since she was a widow, she had no husband to stand with her in court. Finally, she was poor and could not pay a bribe even if she wanted to. No wonder poor widows did not always get the protection the law was supposed to afford them!
She didn’t have the best of circumstances, but she didn’t let that stop her. And many of you, may not think that you have the best circumstances in the world, and you use that as an excuse to simply give up and throw in the towel. While in the Navy, I was trying to witness to a friend of mine and he immediately started by telling me that it was tough for him to go to church, because he never went to church when he was a kid. My response was, well you’re not a kid now. You know there comes a point where you need to stop griping about your situation and deal with the hand life has dealt you and make the most of it. This woman wasn’t about to let her situation stop her, and neither should you.