PERSISTENCE = QUICK JUSTICE? We live in a world where quick is never quick enough. We lose our temper if the car in front of us is a few seconds late off the line when the light turns green. One minute seems like an eternity when waiting for something to heat up in the microwave, and all problems are solved on TV shows in 45 minutes or less. So when Jesus says that persistent prayers will "see that they get justice, and quickly" (v8), it doesn't sit well with us. The word we want Jesus to use is immediately.
God will bring justice quickly, but remember, He has a much different perspective on time than what we do.
D'OH! The cocky young ruler who came to Jesus asking "What must I do to inherit eternal life (v18 - hopefully your mental alarms are going off just by the question he asked) stepped in it right away. The ruler had called Jesus 'good teacher,' to which Jesus replies that only God is good. Jesus then gives a rundown of the commandments, to which the ruler eagerly says that he's kept since he was a boy. In a sense, he blurts out that he's good too, right after Jesus had said that only God is good. The problem with this answer, of course, is that comparing oneself to God in this way breaks the first, third, fifth and ninth commandments... the same commandments the ruler supposedly had been keeping since he was a boy.
See Luke 10 for another example of someone asking Jesus the same fundamentally flawed question.
DON'T BE SO HARD ON THE DISCIPLES: We often shake our heads on how obstinate the disciples were. They often seem so clueless, not being able to see the big picture and recognize Jesus for who He was. But it wasn't their fault. V34 indicates that they didn't understand what was happening because its meaning was hidden from them. Praise God that He has opened your eyes to see His truth.
SPEAKING OF HEALING BLINDNESS: The last passage in this chapter is a perfect ending, both to this chapter on persistent, humble prayer, as well as capping off the healing miracles Jesus performed. The blind man's request was far more profound than just asking for eyesight, rather it's the question that all who are saved must ask: "Lord, I want to see."
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: A just judge who answers prayer quickly (v8)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God to enable you to see Him and His will (v41)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: Persistently present your requests to God.