What I’m Thinking: Hope for Justice

Jesus’ story of a widow and an unjust judge isn’t one to show how God is – it’s to show how God isn’t. Which leaves the question for us: Do we still have hope for God’s justice?

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about the eighteenth chapter of Luke (Luke 18:1-8), which begins with what we call “the Parable of the Unjust Judge.”

Jesus told a story about a widow seeking a decision in a case from a judge who, quite simply, didn’t care. She asked for justice against her opponents, and apparently hers was the stronger claim. Nevertheless, he would not give it.

So she came back. She came back, she came back, and she came back, and finally, worn down by her persistence if not the righteousness of her claim, he granted her her decision.

No doubt, in the first century Jesus’ contemporaries would have nodded at one another, recognizing something in their lives or their families’ lives or their neighbors’ lives, some occasion when the right had not been granted without long and hard argument before an uncaring magistrate.

Justice for the widows: well, that is the standard for justice throughout the Scriptures. If widows and orphans can’t get what they deserve, can’t get what is right, then the society, say the Scriptures, is hopelessly corrupt.

Nevertheless, the story was not about judges, not about the way that life was working in the first century – not the way that it works for far too many people in far too many places in today’s world – it was the contrast that Jesus made between this judge who required persistence and a God who was always responsive. “Will God wait long?” asked Jesus. “No. God is not like the unjust judge.”

We may well ask in our time when justice will arrive. And surely enough, to me it looks very much like justice for far too many is delayed for far too long, and I yearn for the intervention of the Holy One to bring what is good and right and beautiful and true to the Earth.

Yet I strive to answer the last question Jesus asked: “When the Son of Man arrives, will there be hope on the Earth?” I strive to answer that question, “Yes.”

I will still hope even as justice seems delayed beyond reason, beyond measure, and beyond hope. I will hope in God and the righteousness, and love, and redemption, forgiveness, and justice to come.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , | Posted on October 14, 2019

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