Faith of a mustard seed

Barbara Woods-Washington

“And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not loose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man; and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying ‘Vindicate me against my adversary.’

For a while he refused; but afterwards he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:1-8).

Luke’s use of ‘Faith’ here is a single tradition parable, known as ‘The Unjust Judge’. With no parallel, it is one of several Lucan parables that give a glimpse into the Gospel writers theology. As a prologue to this parable, Luke has indicated that it’s effect should be in direct relationship to ‘proseuchomai/prayer’ (without ceasing) and ‘egkakeo/not loose heart’; the combination of which raises a question for Jesus in the pronouncement portion of this parable— when I come, will I find it on earth?

To distinguish ‘pros-euchomai/prayer’ from the various other words used for prayer in New Testament scripture, this word is more indicative of prayer as ‘phenomenon’; ‘a lifestyle’; to ‘call on God’ without content or intent; ‘a piousness’. To live in a ‘state of prayer-fulness’— “My House shall be called a House of Prayer”! It is not a ‘petition’ or ‘asking’ when in need.It is not a small thing that when trouble comes, when sickness and adversity comes, the believer and the non-believer alike ‘call on the same God’ and in many instances it becomes the conversion point in the life of the non-believer.‘ Proseuchomai/prayer’, then, has the sense of calling on God for presence at all times, allowing the Will of God to be done without having to indicate to an omniscient God what needs to be done.It’s ‘lifestyle’— it’s ‘homestyle’!

What we see simply as ‘loose heart’, is of far greater consequence than what meets the eye. The word in this text, ‘egkakeo/not loose heart’ has at it’s root ‘kakos/evil’! In raising the ‘problem of evil’ in this parable,
Luke has opened the door to a major discussion for our times.

Contrary to the ever popular belief and teaching (in the Christian Church???) on an ‘external source’ of (d)evil/Satan???— Jesus has clearly regarded the (hu)man heart as the source and seat of evil!When the Heads (of Nation, of State, of Church, of Household, of School) does evil, the effect is that— ‘when I would do good, I too…’!

Now in the 3rd Week is the “Poor People’s Champaign” revised by The Rev. William Barber a Pastor in North Carolina.

Having instituted a “Moral Mondays” Protest where each Monday he led a March to the State House in Raleigh to call the Legislature to consider the Moral Crisis in The State; he has taken the Protest Nationwide. Undergirded and armed with the “Facts on Poverty in The Nation, he is now giving “Face and Definition” to the multiplicity of Injus-tices that are now an everyday part of the American Systems. Americans led by Clergy each week are staging “Moral Mon-day” Protests in the Statehouse Capitals all across the Country.

House your life in a state of prayerfulness and DO NOT ‘egka-keo’— ‘loose heart’; ‘do evil’; ‘mistreat’; ‘act badly’; ‘grow weary’!A brand new and pointed, yet old and simple definition of faith!

Yet, Jesus questions whether he will find this, not just in the Church, the Nation— but, ‘where in the world?.

by email: mustardseedfaith@outlook.com