Rev. Ned Moerbe, pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Blackwell, OK, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Luke 18:1-14.
In order to encourage His disciples to pray always without losing heart, Jesus tells a parable about an unjust judge and a persistent widow. Though the judge cares neither about God’s law nor man’s opinion, he gives the widow the justice she desires due to her constant petitioning. In contrast to the unjust judge, the true God is righteous. He loves His elect, and He will surely answer their prayers because He is their heavenly Father. Jesus’ question about finding faith invites each individual to examine themselves for the faith that Jesus commends in His second parable. To those who trust in their own righteousness, Jesus speaks about a Pharisee who prays with pride and a tax collector who prays with humility. While the Pharisee is brought low in his pride, the tax collector receives the mercy and justification from God for which he pleads.
“The Beloved Physician’s Orderly Account” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the Gospel according to St. Luke. The Evangelist wrote his well-researched account of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection so that Theophilus would have certainty concerning the things he had been taught. As we still read the Word of God recorded by St. Luke, our gracious Lord gives us that same certainty that Jesus is our Savior.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
The Parable of the Persistent Widow
18 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed[a] thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
- Luke 18:11 Or standing, prayed to himself
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org