“God doesn’t quit…” — Gospel and Sermon for October 16, 2022

Pastor Matthew Best
6 min readOct 16, 2022

Here is the manuscript of the Sermon in response to Luke 18:1–8:

I’ll be honest, for a long time, I didn’t like this parable. The parable didn’t make much sense to me. One of the most common questions that gets asked is — Who is God in this parable? The usual answer is — The unjust judge. That just seems kind of weird though doesn’t it? That doesn’t seem to fit the mold of who God is. It’s an unsatisfactory answer frankly. The unjust judge seems like a jerk. I just can’t link God with this guy just because he’s a judge.

And there’s the other question — where do I fit in? I don’t know. It’s a parable that on the surface just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in our world. At least to the circumstances that I’m used to. So, what’s going on in this story? I didn’t understand it.

But over time I’ve come to appreciate this parable more and more. To the point where now I see this as the parable that may be the most real of all the parables that Jesus tells, the most practical that he tells in the sense of how real life works — even if we don’t want to acknowledge this. Real in the sense of dealing with how people really are — at least how some people and some systems really are. There’s no make believe going on here in this parable. Jesus doesn’t sugar coat it.

This parable is fast becoming one of my favorites because I am starting to see people that I personally know who fit into the parable, especially into the role of the hero of the parable — the widow who just refuses to quit.

So, let’s dive into the story. Jesus tells a parable — it’s an opportunity to teach a lesson through a story. And he uses something common — something his hearers would all understand, that he wouldn’t have to explain to them. He talks about the unjust judge. Think about that for a moment. He says “in a certain city…” It doesn’t matter what city. Why? Because this is the situation all around them — a situation they would all understand and were all far too familiar with.

He doesn’t need to talk about everything around that judge — The entire system supporting that judge. Nope, everyone just goes along with the story. They all know that the entire system is corrupt and unjust. There is no justice in this entire system and story. It’s the very premise of the story and everyone knows it — they live it every day.

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Pastor Matthew Best

My name is Matthew Best. I’m an ELCA (Lutheran) pastor who attempts to translate church and churchy stuff into everyday language.