Notes: November 18, 2009

Prayer And Devotion To God

In two parables and two encounters, Jesus teaches how to pray and live.

Luke 18:1-25

Prayer should be enthusiastic and in earnest (v. 1-8)

  • The squeaky wheel gets the grease; and the persistent appellant will gain the court’s ear.
  • The unsaved may do what is right for wrong reasons.
  • Unlike the importunate woman of the parable, we have a Judge who always does right, who hears and responds to the cries for help which come from his people, who will avenge them speedily.
  • Will Jesus find faithful, persistent and praying people when he returns?

Prayer should be humble and honest (v. 9-14)

  • Jesus had a target audience. We should know what to say and to whom, too.
  • The Pharisee prayed with himself.
  • The publican, ashamed even to look to heaven, pled for God’s mercy.
  • Conclusion: the humble penitent left the temple in good standing with God.  The Pharisee did not.

Devotion to God has no minimum age (v. 15-17)

  • Some would prevent little children from being close to Jesus.
  • Others would do anything to have Jesus handle their children.
  • What did Jesus think about the request or the rejection?
  • Little children are welcome.
  • Little children are our example in how to receive the kingdom of God. If we don’t follow the child-like faith and obedience we will never enter the kingdom of God ourselves.

Devotion to God requires lifestyle changes (v. 18-25)

  • From the dependent child we now turn to a man of independent wealth.
  • He asked how to have eternal life.
  • Jesus challenged his knowledge of the scriptures and his obedience to them.
  • More, Jesus challenged his lifestyle and ordered that the man start over financially.
  • Being very rich, the man was very sorrowful at the thought of parting with his fortune.
  • Jesus pointed out that it’s hard (though not impossible)for a wealthy man to enter the kingdom of God.
  • Threading a rope though a needle would be easier.