The Star of Bethlehem - The Rest of the Story

 
The Persistent Widow Parable and Jesus 2nd Coming

What does the persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8 have to do with Jesus' 2nd coming?

The admonition of Luke 18:1 is: "Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up."

The story is about a widow who was persistently seeking justice from an unbeliever judge regarding her adversary. The judge gets tired of her persistence so grants her justice.

Then Jesus draws a contrast between the unbeliever judge and God by saying, "Luke 18:6 And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off ? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

Jesus seems to be focusing on the justice of God and implies that God will bring justice quicker and more surely than an unbeliever judge.

Then Jesus asks, "when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

Here Jesus ties this "persistent widow" parable to His 2nd coming. 
What kind of faith is He looking for? This reminded me of:

Rev. 6:9-11 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.

These souls are crying out for justice (Rev 6) like the widow, and they are told to wait a little while longer  - perhaps until the time of the rapture (Rev. 7) when there will be no more "fellow servants" on the earth to kill and God's judgment begins with the trumpet judgments (Rev. 8).

In the same conversation, immediately before the persistent widow parable, we find that Jesus is talking to His disciples about His 2nd coming in Luke 17:34-37 "I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. 35 Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left. " 37 "Where, LORD?" they asked. He replied, "Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.""

The parallel passage in Mark 13:1-4 says the disciples Jesus was talking to in Luke 18:1 were Peter, James, John, and Andrew, because they asked Jesus privately about these things.  Since this was a private conversation, it may not have been a lesson that Jesus spoke about publicly nor elsewhere.

Mark 13:1-4 As he was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!" 2 "Do you see all these great buildings?" replied Jesus. "Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down." 3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 "Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?"

Mark 13:26-37 "At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens. 33 Be on guard! Be alert ! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It's like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. 35 "Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back--whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!' "

The admonition in Mark is to keep watch, because the LORD is coming.

The parallel passage in Matt. 24 is:

Matt 24:30-47 "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. 32 "Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34 I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

36 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. 42 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. 45 "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

In Matthew, the admonition is to keep watch, because the LORD is coming.

Jesus asks, " Who then is the faithful and wise servant?"
Similar to: "When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"

So when Jesus asks in Luke, "when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" I wonder if the faith He is looking for are those who are persistently watching, trusting, praying, and crying out for Jesus to bring about justice on earth, especially at His 2nd coming. Is this why we are to always pray and never give up as we pray for Jesus to bring justice? He is God and we can trust that He will indeed bring justice in due time.