Parable of the Woman and the Judge
Verse 1 – Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,
This parable speaks to the common tendency to become discouraged and stop praying before we see an answer.
Verse 2 – saying, “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.
Verse 3 – “Now there was a widow in that city; and she came saying, ‘Avenge me of my adversary.’
The judge was not a religious or compassionate man. A widow in that culture was almost always helpless. Her only hope was that her persistent plea for justice would be granted.
Verse 4 – “And he would not for a while; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man,
Verse 5 – ‘yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ”
Verse 6 – Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said.
Verse 7 – “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?
If unjust judges respond to constant pressure, how much more will a great and loving God respond to us? When we know He loves us, we know He hears us!
Verse 8 – “I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
At the time right before Christ’s second coming, will genuine faith be found?
Parable of the Pharisees and the Tax Collectors
Verse 9 – Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
Verse 10 – “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
Verse 11 – “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men – extortion, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. (Thank You Lord, that I’m better than everyone else.)
Verse 12 – ‘I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I possess – (I, I, I.)
That is nothing more than a self-righteous announcement to God of who the Pharisee is in his own eyes. That spirit of Pride in that Pharisee and is exactly what stops many from repenting. They never look at their own sin or faults. They only compare themselves to others, making them think more highly of themselves than they ought. We don’t come to God with a list of all the things we do right or how great we have been. God sees the heart, intentions and motives behind what we do.
Verse 13 – “And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner!’
Verse 14 – “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be abased, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
By contrast, the tax collector knew that as a sinner, deserved God’s wrath. Jesus emphasized that God’s justification is available to the humble, while self-exalting people will be brought low.
Verse 15 – Then they also brought infants to Him that He might touch them; but when His disciples saw it, they rebuked them.
Verse 16 – But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.
Verse 17 – “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”
Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God, the King Messiah, the doctrines of the Gospel, and the ordinances of it, even the whole Gospel dispensation, as a little child, without prejudice, pride , ambition, and vanity, only with meekness, and humility; shall in no wise enter in.
Rich Young Ruler
Verse 18 – Now a certain ruler asked Him saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
Verse 19 – So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.
Verse 20 – “You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery; ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”
Verse 21 – And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.”
Verse 22 – So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and come follow me.”
Verse 23 – But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.
And there lies the heart of the matter. God sees us doing all the right ordinances by His laws, but He also sees the intentions and motives behind them. When it comes to money, are we willing to sacrifice what we own or accumulate, for treasures in heaven? Keep in mind: “God can’t multiply what is in our hands unless we first release it to Him.
Verse 24 – And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!
Verse 25 – “For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Jesus contradicted the conventional wisdom that those with wealth were blessed by God and would certainly go to heaven.
Verse 26 – And those who heard it said, “Who then can be saved?”
Verse 27 – But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
We often find that people who have everything, have no need for God. However, when these same people realize they cannot be saved by their own efforts, God does the impossible when they cry out to Him, and by His saving Grace, He answers them, rich or poor.
Christ Will Reward Sacrifice
Verse 28 – Then Peter said, “See, we have left all and followed You.”
Verse 29 – So He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,
Verse 30 – “who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come everlasting life.”
Some, as the disciples did, have to give up their secular jobs to follow Christ. Some even give up their families because of their disapproval of them being a follower. However, not only will they be rewarded in this life, they also gain eternal life with the King of Kings.
Christ Foretells His Death and Resurrection
Verse 31 – Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished.
Verse 32 – “For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon.
Verse 33 – “And they will scourge Him and put Him to death. And the third day He will rise again.”
Verse 34 – But they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken.
Try to imagine being one of the disciples and hearing your friend and teacher of the past three years, talking about their death. It would be hard to focus on anything after that. But, they weren’t comprehending what He said after that, that He would rise on the third day.
For instance: We know all the prophecies about the end times, if you have studied, but we don’t know when or exactly how they will play out. Will we realize the events when they begin to happen? Only if you are looking for them.
Verse 35 – Then it happened, that as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the road begging.
Verse 36 – And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant.
Verse 37 – So they told him Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.
Verse 38 – And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on Me!”
When Bartimaeus cried out, “Jesus, Son of David,” he knew it meant that Jesus was the Messiah.
Verse 39 – Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Are we willing to cry out in boldness in order to get the Savior’s attention? Too many times people will continue to sit and be silent, instead of doing what is necessary to be healed. They care too much what others will think of them.
Verse 40 – So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him,
Verse 41 – saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And he said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.”
Verse 42 – Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.”
Verse 43 – And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.
All these people had to see this miracle first before they praised God, but Bartimaeus knew Jesus was the Messiah before he saw anything – faith!