Stories Jesus told with women in them

The Parable of the Persistent Widow Luke 18:1-8

The setup for this parable is found in the chapter that immediately precedes it, Luke 17 (we’re keeping in mind that Luke didn’t just randomly record stuff. He had an idea about where he wanted his narrative to go, and he was building all along the way).

This parable was given on the heels of a series of truly momentous events.

  • Jesus had just visited Bethany, where He had raised Lazarus from the dead and announced Himself as the resurrection and the life.
  • Afterwards, the Sanhedrin had gotten together for a secret meeting and launched their plan to get Jesus killed.
  • During that time Jesus ate at Simon the Leper’s house, was anointed by Mary.
  • And now Jesus was on His final journey to Jerusalem where He would be crucified in a few weeks' time.

In Luke 17, Jesus was answering questions about His Second Coming. I’m betting everyone listening was trying to figure out what Jesus was saying. Just to help you out, I’ve scraped together some basic points that reflect what Jesus—and the apostles—consistently described and explained about Jesus’ return.

Jesus’ Second Coming is actually one of the most frequently talked about doctrines in the whole Bible—an incredible ratio of one in every twenty verses, many of them in the New Testament. From all those passages, there are few points on which all theologians can agree, regardless of how they see the details of how that future time is going to look like.

The second coming of Christ will be:

1) SURE, Jesus had given His word to His disciples, His return is an actual day on the calendar.

2) PHYSICAL, When the disciples saw Jesus going up into heaven, angels told them Jesus would come back in exactly the way they saw Him go—Jesus physically died and is physically resurrected. 

3) SUDDEN, This is a particular kind of sudden, because it should have been expected all along, just as a pregnant woman doesn’t know exactly when the labor pains will come, but, being pregnant, she knows they will come.

4) VISIBLE, It will be a very public event. Somehow, in some fashion, Jesus will come down from heaven with a loud command, there will be the voice of an archangel, a loud trumpet call—the same loud trumpet call that terrified the Hebrews at the foot of Mt. Sinai in the desert. The dead will rise from their graves, the living will rise up into the air, and all Jesus’ holy ones will meet Him in the clouds as He descends.

Somehow.

I know, it sounds crazy. Who knows what this is going to really be like? As with all prophecy, we are going to be astounded when it actually happens because it’s going to be exactly the way it was prophesied, and yet not anything at all that we imagined or thought.

Like, who ever thought Messiah would literally be born to a virgin? Well, everyone did, sort of. But they didn’t think about the implications of an unmarried, young girl, living in a quiet village.

Whoever thought Messiah would die on a cross? I mean, there were tons of prophecies that were exactly predicting this very thing. But nobody got it until after it happened, and then it was a total face palm. I think that’s how this whole thing Second Coming is going to be.

5) UNEXPECTED, for those who belong to the darkness, even in spite of Jesus’ promise, in spite of the expectation of all believers, in spite of the public proclamation of the Bible, unbelievers will be surprised, in the same way that a home owner would be surprised to see a thief in their house, or to be robbed. They never expected it to happen to them. 

6) It will be followed by the FINAL JUDGEMENT.

Jesus First Coming was not a day, but was 33 years long, including lots of events

Jesus’ Second Coming, the Day of the Lord, will be the same way, covering a period of time with many events.

Okay!! We got some understanding of the culture and customs, and some context. Next post we’ll take a look at what Jesus was actually saying with His Persistent Widow parable.

All passages taken from the New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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