Adult Object Lesson: Luke 18:1-8

mosquitoPersistence, Justice and Faith 

This week’s object is a mosquito. BUZZZZZZZZ!

Have you ever set out to enjoy a summer evening when that buzz around your ear alerts you to danger? SWAT. Did you get it? Lean back and relax. Buzzzzzz. SWAT. The dance of the mosquito and the source of its sustenance continues until the little devil alights on an arm. SWAT!. Justice has prevailed. You hope!

Satisfied, you lean back and lift a cool glass of lemonade to your lips. Buzzzzz.

Mosquitos will have their way. They will keep entering the danger zone over and over. Where one fails, another waits.

The lessons today have a common trait. The widow insists on being heard by the judge in Jesus’ gospel story. In the Old Testament lesson, Jacob, having just wrestled with God, is not about to give up on what he is looking for either.

The parable points to the foundation of persistence. Faith. Although the parable seems to be all about persistence, Jesus’ parting volley is about faith. Will Jesus as the Son of Man find any faithful when he returns?

Faith creates problems for the faithful. It is indeed the quality that gives us backbone as a church and as individuals. Yet, frequently, that quality is unappreciated. Faith and persistence are read as disobedience and resistance, even foolhardiness—qualities that deserve punishment. SWAT!

God, the final arbiter of disputes, is not resentful of the persistent. He expects it and promises to reward it. He shows us this in story after story. He applauds the people who persist in getting his attention, even when they have annoyed him.

Think about the stories.

  • Zaccheus who climbs a tree just to see Jesus
  • The bleeding woman who reaches out to touch Jesus’ robe
  • The centurion who is sure his slave will be healed on Jesus’ command
  • The Samaritan leper, who sent on his way, insists on returning with gratitude
  • The sinful woman who accepts public ridicule to sit at Jesus’ feet
  • and more

Jesus likes the willful. He doesn’t see disobedience. He sees persistence fueled by faith. Exactly what he is looking for in his followers—yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Print out the image of a mosquito and attach it to a dowel. Use it as a puppet to illustrate your talk today.


photo credit: Marcos Teixeira de Freitas via photopin cc