So, this portion of the verse in Luke 18:8 kept poking me:
"When the Son of Man cometh, will he find faith on Earth?"
Interestingly, Jesus refers to himself in the mortal context "son of man", not "Son of God."
Many of the Gospel chapters harmonize with eachother, which means that there are multiple versions of the same incident or teaching. But, there are profound verses which stand alone in only one book. For instance, the Sermon on the Mount is found in Matthew, the birth of Jesus in John, and this late teaching sermon in Luke 18. So, we only have this one shot to get it's meaning.
On the surface, the four little parables in Luke 18 seem straight forward, but, they are the opening pages on virtual worlds.
Christ was preparing his Apostles and disciples for His death, and they had so far to go to understand. They had become illustrious through their dear friendship and association with this superstar prophet of the day. They were rock stars. They were prophets. They were revolutionaries.
They argued amongst themselves who would be seated on his right hand. They argued amongst themselves who was the greatest. They were filled with the same confidence we feel knowing the secrets of YHWH revealed. They were possessed by the identical arrogance we possess when we smugly see sinners and those in the dark, understanding that we have a ticket to ride, and a stairway to heaven'ts gates.
Not that they were any worse or better than we are. It's our choice, as was theirs, to follow Jesus Christ, based on hope and faith in God. This is not trivialized. But, like me, they thought they were safe. They felt like they knew the truth. They felt close to Jesus. What could man do to them, when God's own SON was with them?
Like them, reading these darkest of parables in Luke 18, instead of hope, I am filled with an instant despair and pang of separation. I am provoked into anger. Why is it so dark? Why am I brought this close to his face, only to be told I am no more worthy than a worm to enter into God's presence?
All of a sudden, I am not a seer, but, a victim of my own pride and ego, brought down to the pit by the sheer volume of God's sigh.
Luke 18:8...... nevertheless, when the son of man cometh, will there be faith on earth?
I am suddenly in that troupe marching with the Lord, with his beloved Petra and Andrew, John and James, and Matthew, and.... the millions and millions who have followed his words through the darkness of the night, through the hardships of war, persecution, sickness, of hunger, of loss, of despair and with interminable hope of God's mercy and reconciliation.
I am simultaneously exalted and humbled, comforted and torn apart. My emotions are engineered by these words. Sometimes, the totality of Scripture is revealed in a few chapters, or in a line, or in one page, like Luke 18.
This is the beginning of the end, and the end of the beginning. This is literally the road to Calvalry, not just for the Lord, but, for them, and for us, in our own personal journey to the cross.
Yet, they didn't understand. Still, we don't understand. This meant that the Lord spoke these dark words of illumination against a sea of blackness, like the night sky. His words were only points of light, seen, but, not comprehended.
He commences by speaking of the unrighteous judge, who feared not God or man. He begins by telling a parable of a widow who was wronged. This is far from a fairy tale, or a simple homily. This is deeper than any ocean, and blacker than the night sky, even with punctuations of light.
The unrighteous judge is a magistrate who is not moved by awe of God, goodness, evil, or the emotional plight of his subjects. He is only moved to rule after the persistence of an anguished widow who pleads for justice.
18:1- He spake a parable unto them (tto this end) that men aught always to pray, and not to faint.