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Women World Leaders' Podcast

Dec 6, 2023

What are we to do while we are waiting for the full dawning of the kingdom of God—for Jesus’ return? We learn the answer to this question straight from the mouth of Jesus in Luke 18:1-17.


Welcome to Walking in the Word…the biblical teaching arm of the Women World Leaders’ podcast. I’m your host, Julie Jenkins, and I am so happy you have joined us.

As we enter into December, if you are a regular donor to Women World Leaders, the newest edition of our Voice of Truth magazine should be arriving in your mailbox. If you are new to the ministry, Voice of Truth is our quarterly magazine presented by an amazing team of women from around the globe who are on mission to share the love and message of Jesus Christ. If you’ve not yet been introduced to the magazine, you can check it out at, where we have this issue as well as all our back issues available for free digitally. We do print a few extra copies of each edition, so if you want a physical copy for yourself or to share with someone, simply make a donation to the ministry on our website, and we will send you one, as long as our supplies last.

Of course, Women World Leaders is a 501c3 non-profit, so all donations ARE tax deductible. What better way is there to get a year-end tax deduction than to allow your money to be used to spread the Word of God and empower women to walk in their God-given purpose? You can be part of this spectacular cause that we have embarked on at Women World Leaders, and we hope you will.

Let’s get into our study, shall we? Today, as we open scripture, asking God what He wants us to know, we will be studying Luke 18:1-17. Before we begin, let’s pray…

Dear Most Holy God, We come to you in faith, trusting that you will teach us today what we need to know. Sometimes, when we look at your Word, God, we don’t know where to start. But we do. We begin in faith, by opening to a study that you have, in fact, ordained for us. We have been walking through your gospels, and it never ceases to amaze me that you teach each of us bit by bit, filling us with what we need to know when we need to know it…and we praise you in advance that today is no exception. Be with us. Guide us. Teach us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

As we studied last week, we learned about the Kingdom of God – that, with Jesus’ human birth, it had already arrived, but no one knows the date of its full completion. Yet Jesus assured the disciples, and us, that when it does arrive in full force, no one will miss it. Today as we study, Jesus launches into two parables that teach exactly what we are to do while we are waiting for His return. Allow me to begin reading in Luke 18, verse 1 from the New Living Translation…

One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ 

The two characters in this story are as opposite as you can imagine. The judge had all the power in the world. He not only rendered judgment, but he also chose WHOSE case he would hear, which was often based on a bribe presented to his assistant.

The widow, on the other hand, had been ill-treated and had NOTHING to offer the judge to hear her case. She had several things going against her. First of all, she was a woman. Secondly, she was widowed, so she had no male presence to represent her. And thirdly, she was poor. All the cards were stacked against her…all she had was her presence and her voice, which she used until she nearly drove the heartless judge crazy.

Verse 4 continues…

The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”

Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly!

The judge certainly did not offer justice quickly or even willingly, but under duress.

We are not to compare the judge to God, but rather see their differences…unlike the uncaring judge, our God loves us each so much, and He will always be there to answer our prayers.

And yet…sometimes it CAN feel like God is not there…like we are waiting for forever for an answer to prayer…or, for Him to return again, ushering in the completion of His Kingdom. So what are we to do while we wait? According to Jesus’ teachings, we are to tirelessly and persistently go to God in prayer.

The woman was outside the tent…she wasn’t even allowed in where the proceedings were happening. Waiting for Jesus to return can feel like that…we know God is there, we know He can hear us, but we just can’t see Him clearly yet. God wants us to keep close to Him, to keep close to the tent, to keep crying out. Unlike with the judge in the parable, we don’t need to “wear God down,” but when we stay close to Him in prayer, we will always win, because we will always be close to Him!

Still, many WILL get tired and wander away…that is why Jesus asks in the next sentence…

But when the Son of Man[a] returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”

Then Jesus shared another parable … again, about two people who were complete opposites…one man revered and praised God, the other man revered and praised himself – as a show to God. This parable was directly pointed at those listening who self-righteously putting themselves above others.

Verse 9…

Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer[b]: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

Notice the I’s? This man walked into God’s house and proceeded to tell God how great he was, as if God should be privileged to be in this man’s presence.

Verse 13…

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’

What a stark difference. The first man, the Pharisee, strutted into the Temple as if it were HIS home.

I’m guessing we all know people like that. Those who walk into the church, on holy ground, as if they are the star of the show.

The tricky thing about humility is that it is oh so easy to lose. The devil is sneaky. We can begin going to church for all the right reasons, but become so infatuated with what WE are doing that we allow our focus to shift from the humility of honoring God to pride regarding our accomplishments FOR God. And then, in our brazenness, we look down on others who seemingly aren’t offering as much as we are.

This is a slippery slope that none of us are immune to. Don’t you hate it when Jesus’ words sting? But when we allow Jesus’ words to infiltrate our spirit and make us uncomfortable, it is then that the Holy Spirit is giving us the power to grow.

Jesus lays it out in verse 14…

 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Jesus has taught us, through these two parables, that we are to be persistent and humble in prayer as we wait for Him to return.

And then Luke’s placement of this next teaching reminds us that God wants us to make a path for others to come to Him. Verse 13…

15 One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him.

Wow…can you imagine ever scolding ANYONE for coming to Jesus?

It seems like that is a no-brainer of a question, yet, it would be wise to consider when and where we unknowingly put up stumbling blocks for others, keeping them from seeing Jesus.

If you and I carry Jesus within us and we are His representatives, perhaps we should think about when we shoo people away from us. Perhaps when they don’t look like us? Or maybe when they don’t act like us? How about when they knowingly go against what the Bible says, choosing to live a lifestyle against our beliefs, and so we, consciously or unconsciously, put ourselves above them, not caring to associate with them or listen to their story?

What if, as you and I were growing – as we each still are — what if people turned us away from Jesus because of the wrong choices we made? I can tell you, if that were the case, I would be heading down a lonely path in completely the wrong direction. I thank and praise God that all throughout my life there have been so many individuals who have put their own selves aside and encouraged me to step forward towards Jesus.

Jesus consistently calls us to Himself. He calls EVERYONE to come to Him. And we should do WHATEVER we can to welcome others to walk beside Jesus, too. Remember, the first shall be last, and the last shall be first. Take the back seat, let others move ahead of you, offer love, not judgment.

Verse 16…  

16 Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

The kingdom of God is here…in our hearts because we have the Holy Spirit indwelling us. But we are still waiting for Jesus’ return and His full glory to be revealed. So what are we to do in the meantime? Persistently pray in humility, staying close to God and making a way for all others to get close to Him, too.

Mark also tells the story of Jesus welcoming the children, but he ends it a bit differently, with a verse I love and hold close to my heart on those days when I am tired of being patient and fighting the good fight. Mark 10:16 states…Then Jesus took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.

May God take you in his arms, place his hands on your head, and bless you.

Let’s pray.

Dear Heavenly Father…we are so not perfect…but you already knew that. We tend to go from humility and giving you the praise and honor to wanting to climb up on the pedestal ourselves. I don’t know what it is that makes us think that it is okay to look down on others. Please forgive us. And thank you for reminding us that it is an honor to put others first. You are a big God, able to hold us all in your hands. And more than that, you are willing and yearning to hold us all. Thank you! We give you all the praise and honor and glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.