I think there are some important and encouraging connections to be drawn between the “Parable of the Persistent Widow” and the “Temptation of Christ.” When I taught through the temptation (MP3 / PDF) I outlined three tensions that we find in that text.

  • The Father’s Provision or Self-Preservation (Luke 4:1-4)
  • The Father’s Providence or Self-Glorification (Luke 4:5-8)
  • The Father’s Protection or Self-Vindication (Luke 4:9-12)

The temptations are an attack upon Jesus’ confidence in His Father. The Serpent comes to challenge His faithfulness. Will Jesus trust in the Father’s provision or will He rebelliously act to preserve His own life? Will Jesus embrace the Father’s providence, the Father’s foreordained plan, by patiently waiting for the Father to exalt Him or will He seek to exalt Himself in an act of unbelief? Will Jesus place His confidence in the Father’s protection or will He doubt and attempt to vindicate Himself against this accuser.

This is where we arrive in Luke 18 with Christ’s question, “And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Like the author of Psalm 42 the elect will face moments of injustice of unanswered prayers and their tears will cry out, “Where is your God?” Against the backdrop of this future reality Jesus asks if He will find faith on the earth at His return. Will the people of God trust the Father’s provision, His providence, and His protection or will they abandon the promises in unbelief?

I pray that you find great encouragement in the reality that the same Spirit that indwelled and empowered Christ during His desert conflict will likewise enable you to triumph over the Tempter so that when your tears cry out “where is your God” you will be able to answer them with Spirit-filled faithfulness.

And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

Revelation 12:11