Here are a few questions on Luke 18:1-8, the text we are studying for Sunday, July 15, that we might or might not want to consider in class:
The narrator introduces the parable as being about “the need to pray always and never lose heart.” Does this teaching seem more applicable to some situations than others? Which ones? Why? Are there situations that this teaching does not apply to? Which ones? Why?
Jesus might have told this story when teaching about what his listeners thought of as the final coming of the kingdom of God. What difference might that make in the way we understand Jesus’ message in this story? Why?
The judge is described as someone who neither fears God nor respects, or regards, people. What impression does this give us of the judge? Would we expect a judge like this to be helpful to someone seeking justice? Why, or why not?
The widow’s persistence in the story is described in particularly forceful terms; we might say she “keeps hammering away” at the judge in her demands for justice. What word or words would we use to describe this trait in a person? Do we think of this as a positive trait, a negative trait, or something else? When we think of the widow, do we have a generally positive impression, or not? Why?
Have we ever been in the position of the judge? When? What did we do? Have we ever been in the position of the widow? When? What did we do? What insight into the story have these experiences given us?
Is there a hero or heroine in the story? What makes us say that? Does the story “have a happy ending”? What makes us say that? What difference does our answer make to the way we understand the meaning of the story?
Does the widow demonstrate “faith”? How? Does the judge demonstrate “faith”? How? What does the parable tell us about “faith”? What would it mean for the Son of Man to “find faith on earth” – that is, what behavior or behaviors would demonstrate that “faith” – in light of this parable?