Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 18:2-14

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Luke 18:2

The judge was indifferent to everyone. Thus, he ruled without accountability or a concern for justice.

Luke 18:3

widow. One of the most vulnerable people in society at that time. The woman had no influence and few resources. came often. The widow had no one to speak for her, so she spoke for herself. She was persistent in her plea for justice from the judge.

Luke 18:4-5

The widow eventually received justice from the judge. Though, not because the judge cared about her or doing what was right (v. 6). He was simply tired of her relentless pursuit of justice.

Luke 18:6-7

In contrast to the unjust judge, God will surely hear the prayers of his people. The judge grew tired of the woman's pleas. However, God loves his people and delights to answer their prayers (11:9-13; Rom. 8:14-17). justice. Could be rescue from trouble (Acts 7:24) or judgment on those afflicting his people (Rev. 6:10; 19:2). chosen. God's people whom he has graciously called out of sinful humanity for salvation. This calling was based on his sovereign choice (John 15:16; Rom. 9:9-18; Eph. 1:3-14). delay. Unlike the judge (vv. 3-4), God will not put off responding to his people's prayers.

Luke 18:8

justice . . . speedily. Final justice brought by the return of Christ may seem slow in coming. But it will come according to God's plan (2 Pet. 3:9). While we wait, temporary relief is given (John 14:12-14) and God's people are told to not lose heart in prayer (v. 1). find faith. Jesus has given us every reason to trust him by dying and rising again (Rom. 8:31-39). In this context, trusting him looks like a life of persistent prayer and faithfulness as we wait for his return (11:2; 12:35-40). If we fail to pray, then it shows we do not trust God.

Luke 18:9

parable. See note on 8:4. righteous . . . despised. Jesus directed his teaching toward those who trusted in themselves to be right with God. They were prideful and looked down on others who seemed less godly (see Ezek. 33:13). See WLC 145.

Luke 18:10

There was an incredible contrast between these two men who both sought God in prayer. Pharisee. Jewish laymen known for their dedication for God's law and reputations for righteousness (see note on 5:17). tax collector. Men despised for working with Rome. They were outsiders to the community and thought to be especially sinful (see note on 3:12).

Luke 18:11-12

stood. A normal posture of prayer in biblical times. about himself. Five times in this short prayer, the Pharisee emphasized his religious activities and lack of obvious sins. thank you. He rightly thanked God for keeping him from sin and involved in the religious life of his people. However, his mistake was in trusting his righteousness for salvation (v. 9). No one can ever be made right with God on the basis of their obedience to God (Rom. 3:19-20; Gal. 2:16). Human righteousness is insufficient to meet God's standard (Ps. 143:2; Rom. 3:10).

Luke 18:13-14

See WLC 185.

Luke 18:13

tax collector. He was a dramatic contrast to the Pharisee (vv. 10-12; see note on 3:12). standing at a distance. Everything about the man's posture and position shows that he felt unworthy to stand before God in prayer. mercy. This is not the normal word for mercy in the New Testament. Instead, it's the word which speaks to the satisfaction of God's wrath (propitiation) as atonement is made for sins (Rom. 3:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10). It was a word associated with the sacrifice made on Israel's Day of Atonement (Exod. 25:17-22; 37:6-8; Lev. 16:15-16; Heb. 2:17). The Pharisee boasted before God, while the tax collector appealed to God for atonement which brings forgiveness (Ps 25:11; 65:3; 78:38; 79:9). sinner. He did not flaunt his righteousness or suppose that he had anything to impress God. He makes no case to convince God to save him. He simply trusts in God's mercy.

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