ODJ: pure persistence

April 21, 2015 

READ: Luke 18:35-43 

Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up (v.1).

My neighbour wondered how raccoons kept getting into his bin. Covered by two sturdy lids hinged side-by-side, the bin looked raccoon-proof. It wasn’t.

One day he saw two raccoons in a tree beside the bin. A raccoon dropped onto the container, slid its forepaws beneath a lid and slipped over the side, clinging comically to the edge. The second raccoon then dropped from the tree onto the bin, causing the opposite lid to pop up. After several time-consuming tries, the strategically perched raccoon clambered successfully into the bin.

The persistence and ingenuity of those raccoons may be innate, but that doesn’t make them any less remarkable. What fascinating (albeit meddlesome) specimens of God’s creation!

The concept of persistence frames Luke 18, but it’s a persistence that is seasoned with faith. The chapter opens with Jesus telling His disciples about a widow who repeatedly sought justice from an indifferent judge. Finally, the judge relented. Jesus noted that if even a bad judge can bring justice, how much more will our loving heavenly Father! But He also wondered who would have such faith when He returned to earth (vv.1-8).

At the chapter’s conclusion, Jesus demonstrated the love of the Father. When a blind man called out for help, some of the crowd rudely told him, “Be quiet!” (vv.35-39). But the man only turned up the volume. Jesus heard him and said, “All right, receive your sight! Your faith has healed you” (vv.40-42).

—Tim Gustafson

365-day-plan: 1 Kings 21:1-29

What lessons about the kingdom of God did Jesus teach in Luke 18? See especially verses 8, 14, 17, 24-25 and 29-30. 
In what ways do you need to be more persistent? What is the difference between godly persistence and selfish stubbornness?