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Parables - part 7
The Friend at Midnight
- The context of the parable about the friend at midnight and the saying about parents are Jesus teaching his disciples about prayer.
- Jesus could have let his simple instruction on prayer stand as it is.
- However, the attitude about prayer is as important as what is actually done.
- This is the purpose of the parable.
- This is a story about community and the burden of hospitality. It is comical.
- Man #1 has just settled his house down for the night. Everyone is in bed.
- Man #2 (his neighbor) has had a guest arrive at night. Hospitality demands that Man #2 show Man #1 proper hospitality.
- But Man #2 has no bread to serve, so he bothers his neighbor (Man #1). Why disturb him? Because hospitality is that important.
- Man #1 tells Man #2 to go away. To go elsewhere. But Man #2 doesnt give up. He is persistent. He is bold.
- Jesus says that Man #1 will give Man #2 what he asks for just to get rid of him.
The Point: If a person like us would give someone something just to shut him/her up, how much more will God give us what we truly need?
Attempts to allegorize this parable miss the big point. The man and the friend and the guest do not represent particular things. It is the comical, weary attitude of Man #1 and the persistent attitude of Man #2 that is the focus.
Jesus uses the technique of from the lesser to the greater to make a point about God answering prayer.
Which of You Parents?
- Likewise, flawed parents can be asked for basics by their kids.
- We dont give them something horrible (stones when they ask for bread)
- If parents like us can get this right, how much more can God get it right when we asks for our needs?
The Widow and the Judge
- The context is a question about the kingdom of heaven.
- Gods people should not give up praying for justice and the rule of God.
- Upon introducing the judge, we are told that he is wicked. He will not rule for justice.
- The widow is the weakest person in society. She has no one to go to. Her only help is the wicked judge.
- She will not give up asking for justice.
- The judge will not honor her case. He will not award her justice based on the merit of her case or his love for justice.
- But just to silence her, he will
- Once again, if a wicked judge can do the right thing, then God will really do the right thing.
West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Evening Sermon, 16 May 2010
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