I’m not the first person to ask this question.
Jesus asked it Himself.
Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? (Luke 18:8b, NET)
Jesus wasn’t having a crisis of faith. He wasn’t experiencing doubt in His identity or mission. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? (Luke 18:8b, NET)
Jesus wasn’t asking if He would find faith internally. Jesus asked if He will find faith objectively and externally to Himself on earth. So, will He?
What exactly is Jesus looking for?
We could get ourselves in trouble if we take this verse out of its context. People have different ideas of what “faith” means. If we get carried away we could make this verse mean almost anything.
Jesus leaves little doubt what He will be looking for. Here’s the whole parable:
Then Jesus told them a parable to show them they should always pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected people. There was also a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but later on he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor have regard for people, yet because this widow keeps on bothering me, I will give her justice, or in the end she will wear me out by her unending pleas.'” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unrighteous judge says! Won’t God give justice to his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he delay long to help them? I tell you, he will give them justice speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:1-8, NET)
Luke makes it clear that the point of the parable is to show followers of Christ that they should always pray and not lose heart. Jesus is explicitly teaching that individuals with faith are not necessarily the people who sing the loudest or have the most visible ministries.
Jesus is teaching that people with faith are individuals who always pray and do not lose heart. They may also sing loudly and serve visibly. Nevertheless, prayer is the focus of the parable.
When Jesus returns will He find people persistent in prayer? Will He find faith?
Will He find YOU faithful in prayer?
Looking back on the history of God’s people is illuminating. God’s people wandered from His covenant into idolatry. God declared that judgment was coming upon Jerusalem for their unfaithfulness. Look what He said to the prophet Ezekiel:
The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have wronged the poor and needy; they have oppressed the foreigner who lives among them and denied them justice. “I looked for a man from among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it, but I found no one. So I have poured my anger on them, and destroyed them with the fire of my fury. I hereby repay them for what they have done, declares the sovereign LORD.” (Ezekiel 22:29-31, NET, emphasis added)
God was prepared to pour out His anger over the injustice that was rampant in the land. He searched for someone who would stand in the gap and turn away His wrath through prayer.
He found no one. So His judgment came and they were destroyed.
Read what Jesus said again in Luke 18:1-8.
The point of the parable is not that God is an unrighteous judge. The point is that since even an unrighteous and uncaring judge will respond to the persistence of the request, will not the just, righteous, and caring Judge of the Universe bring about justice quickly for His people? Of course He will!
At least, He will if they continue to pray and not lose heart.
Are you willing to stand in the gap? Do you have the faith to pray and not lose heart? Will you cry out for justice to the God of all the earth?
When the Son of Man returns will He find faith on the earth?
Would He find it in you?