This Week on the Social Gospel Blog with Rev. Paul J. Bern: On Refusing to be Intimidated by Authority

Minister Paul J Bern
6 min readOct 23, 2021

Stories of Persistence, Arrogance and Humility

(Part one: Luke chapter 18, verses 1–8)

Last week when we finished up the 17th chapter of the gospel of Luke, Jesus had explained to the apostles some of the things that would happen at the time of the Rapture of the church. “Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it”, Jesus explained to his apostles, “and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” So whoever lives only for themselves will be dead for eternity and eternally condemned, while those who live for and dedicate their lives to following Jesus Christ and his teachings will achieve immortality in the presence of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These two ultimate fates of humankind are polar opposites of one another. This week as we move on to chapter 18, Jesus is exhorting his apostles to enrich their prayer life, and then gives them an illustration of how this can be done. So let’s go to the first verse of Luke chapter 18 as we continue from last week.

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them they should always pray and not give up. He said: ‘In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’ And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will God not bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?’” (Luke 18, verses 1–8)

As you can see, this is a continuation of Jesus’ train of thought through the eyes and ears of the apostle Luke. Previously he had told the Twelve near the end of chapter 17, “Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it”. To be a follower of Jesus, we must live for him like adopting an entirely new lifestyle. A modern equivalent to this…

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Minister Paul J Bern

Rev. Paul J. Bern is a Web pastor and blogger on The Social Gospel Blog on Medium and Substack. Longtime Atlanta Ga. resident; stroke survivor; piano player