21st Sunday after Trinity 20.10.13 Luke 18.1-8

13 10 2013

Faithful Nagging

This is a very short story about not losing heart.  It’s an important subject, never more relevant than today.

Luke 18.1-8

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13they called out, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ 14When he saw them, he said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were made clean. 15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17Then Jesus asked, ‘Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ 19Then he said to him, ‘Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.’


To help give shape to the reflection here are three types of question: head questions, heart questions and hand questions. They are about our intellectual response, our emotional response and our practical or behavioural response. I hope that you will want to work at all three levels.

Head Questions

  1. What is your definition of prayer?
  2. Is it fair to say that the widow was nagging the judge?
  3. What is the significance of the question in verse 8?

Heart Questions

  1. Can you identify with those who might ‘lose heart’ in prayer?  What does this feel like?
  2. How deep and passionate were the widow’s feelings?
  3. Can you describe the judge’s emotional journey through this episode?

Hand Questions

  1. What might your prayer-life look like if you were convinced that the road to justice lies through prayer?
  2. The words ‘cry out’ are typical of a strand of biblical teaching about prayer.  Does your prayer, or the prayer of your community, have this quality?
  3. What is your most earnest, pithy and repeat-worthy prayer?  i.e. What do you want to nag God about?


These questions are intended to challenge you to engage more closely with the passage and to hear and feel what it has to say to you. That’s more than a five-minute task. And so is the follow-up, working out what you might want to say to others as a result of engaging with the passage with head, heart and hands. Take your time.




3 responses

15 10 2013
Pauline Meek

Was going to make the same comment as has already been made – wrong passage.

14 10 2013
Lavender Buckland

Thank you for the sermon starter, but unfortunately the passage shown (about the 10 lepers) isn’t the one relating to the importunate widow.

13 10 2013

Is the passage correct?

Regards Danie

Sent from by Nexia 7

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