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View Full Version : a quick observation on Luke 18:7-8



Nihil Obstat
Nov 21st 2011, 04:45 AM
"Will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry out to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the son of man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"

Not sure what all you guys think about this parable (vv. 2-5) and its correlation (vv. 1, 6-8), but I used to understand that last sentence as reading, "will He (the son of man) find faith on the earth", looking forward to the second coming, but I'm thinking now that the "He" refers to God instead. In other words, this wouldn't be a second coming passage at all. Rather, the picture is Jesus (the son of man) coming, not to judge the earth, but coming before God who is the judge (cf. Dan. 7). If God brings about justice for His elect quickly, how much more so will He answer the son of man? Therefore, pray, and do not lose heart.

Seems like the obvious conclusion to make, especially given v. 7, but somewhere along the line this got taught to me wrong, and it stuck until just recently.

Thoughts?

ewq1938
Nov 21st 2011, 05:59 AM
I think the "he" is Jesus...he is always concerned about faith and the lack of faith throughout the gospels.



"Will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry out to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the son of man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"

Not sure what all you guys think about this parable (vv. 2-5) and its correlation (vv. 1, 6-8), but I used to understand that last sentence as reading, "will He (the son of man) find faith on the earth", looking forward to the second coming, but I'm thinking now that the "He" refers to God instead. In other words, this wouldn't be a second coming passage at all. Rather, the picture is Jesus (the son of man) coming, not to judge the earth, but coming before God who is the judge (cf. Dan. 7). If God brings about justice for His elect quickly, how much more so will He answer the son of man? Therefore, pray, and do not lose heart.

Seems like the obvious conclusion to make, especially given v. 7, but somewhere along the line this got taught to me wrong, and it stuck until just recently.

Thoughts?

Nihil Obstat
Nov 23rd 2011, 07:44 AM
I think the "he" is Jesus...

Maybe, but 12:35-40 is a ways back from this passage, and here it's the woman seeking justice who is "coming" to the judge (18:3, 5), leading me to feel safe in concluding that the son of man is "coming" to God on His throne in heaven, and therefore it'd be God who is concerned about faith on the earth (others crying out to Him for justice). If He answers the cry of the son of man when there is no faith on earth, who then will be left standing after He judges in favor of the son of man?

asterisktom
Nov 28th 2011, 08:27 PM
"Will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry out to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the son of man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"

Not sure what all you guys think about this parable (vv. 2-5) and its correlation (vv. 1, 6-8), but I used to understand that last sentence as reading, "will He (the son of man) find faith on the earth", looking forward to the second coming, but I'm thinking now that the "He" refers to God instead. In other words, this wouldn't be a second coming passage at all. Rather, the picture is Jesus (the son of man) coming, not to judge the earth, but coming before God who is the judge (cf. Dan. 7). If God brings about justice for His elect quickly, how much more so will He answer the son of man? Therefore, pray, and do not lose heart.

Seems like the obvious conclusion to make, especially given v. 7, but somewhere along the line this got taught to me wrong, and it stuck until just recently.

Thoughts?

May I suggest another possibility, one based on the actual wording of the text in Scripture? The last part of the verse reads:
ἆρα εὑρήσει τὴν πίστιν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς;

The word used was "γῆς", which often implies a more local significance. The "γῆς" here, I believe, should be translated "land". And the context bears this out. The passage just before it has a strong reference to judgment in a Jewish setting (17:37). The immediately following passage, likewise, is in a Jewish setting, two men in the temple. That passage is connected to the one under current consideration.

It is true that this word γῆ can mean something wider than the land of Israel, but other times it clearly means just that. Luke 23:44, the darkness over the whole "γῆ for three hours cannot mean the whole world.

Seeing the fulfillment as a local one, of course, also leads to a different interpretation no timing. And here is where the paucity of faith fits in very well indeed.

So, in conclusion, I believe that this γῆ is the "land of Israel".
The Greek certainly makes room for this interpretation, as does the large thematic context.

Nihil Obstat
Nov 29th 2011, 01:22 AM
So, when the son of man goes before God the judge, will God find faith in the land of Israel? I could go with that.

ewq1938
Nov 29th 2011, 02:13 AM
So, when the son of man goes before God the judge, will God find faith in the land of Israel? I could go with that.

I suppose my issue would be why would God need the arrival of Jesus to be able to find out if faith is in the world? God should know it already. I suppose Jesus could as well but he does speak of his own arrival and it's a question posed to those he is speaking to.

Mar 13:34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Mar 13:35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
Mar 13:36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
Mar 13:37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

same here:

Mat_24:46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

and here:

Luk_12:37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.



I find this to be similar. Will Jesus find people spiritually asleep when he comes? Will he find faith? Same difference to me.