Thursday, June 16, 2005

A Fleeting Thought about Jesus and Judges

With all the fuss over "tyrannical judges" today, I was reading this passage from Luke 18 and it made me think. First, read the passage and make note of the qualities of this judge in Jesus' story:
Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, "In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man.

"There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, 'Give me legal protection from my opponent.' 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, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.'"

And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now, will 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 quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"
This man did not fear God nor did he respect man (or widowed woman). Jesus drives this point home by repeated it twice (verse 2 and 4). When Jesus repeats something, He does it for a reason - He wants us to take note.

Now, I realize that an argument from silence is the worst possible argument but it is still strong enough to make you stop and go, "Hmmm!" When Jesus told of this horrible, even tyrranical judge who refused to do what was right with this lady except for personal self-serving reasons, listen carefully to what Jesus did NOT say.

Christ did not tell the widow to write her political leaders and complain. Jesus did not tell her to mount a campaign to get new judges. The Lord did not tell her to hold public hearings in the media of the day to oust this man from his seat of power.

I know, I know. Jesus wasn't trying to make a point about judicial power run amuk. In fact, He tells us the purpose of the parable in verse 1: "we ought to pray and not to lose heart."

Wait a minute - maybe this story does apply to our current events.

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