Fear God, respect others

Luke 18:1-8

The unjust judge, a parable to teach us about persistence, to teach us about being faithful. What if there is something more here though? What if this is to teach us something about ourselves? Its very hard for us to imagine what life was like living under Roman occupation. Division between playing it safe by being in accordance with what the Roman officials wanted was part of surviving. Even if it meant oporessing your neighbor, another Jew. People of the same faith couldn't see eye to eye. Overthrowing Rome and getting back your own country, your own pride was paramount. To others it wasn't worth losing your life. Oh, for the old days when we could...whatever.

There were only a few who dared to stand up to the Roman might and most of them ended up dead, or lost in their own battle. Not caring how many people ended up hurt or dead. Then comes Jesus, with this parable and he introduces it in this way, the judge did not "fear God or respect others". What is justice entwined with these two things? Do people still fear God? I'm not talking about a fear of God because of wrath, or hell. I'm talking about fearing God as in this healthy awe. Jim Pinkerton described it in class as looking at Niagra Falls and admiring it's strength and beauty, but I'm not going to go in for a swim. Because we'd be swept away and killed. 

C. S. Lewis gives it to us in the character of Aslan the Lion in the Chronicles of Narnia. Aslan would never hurt the children, even the White Witch disappears and is not killed by the Lion. Each encounter is wonderful and terrifying because you are fully known. Think about that for a minute, God knows everything about us, even those thoughts we don't express out loud. Scary? Accountable,  awe-filled.  Don't you think our words, our very actions might be different if we took this truth in? Don't you think we might see justice if we all acted out of this starting place? How would, could that change our current climate of fear and mistrust, if we put the fear where it truly belongs?

Lastly this is about relationship in the end. It's about being persistant. Because if we don't cultivate the relationship with God we forget. We forget we are known. We forget our own fears and let them play out on others. We forget even in silence there are answers. We forget we are fully known and loved, baggage and all. Because of this relationship we can move in kind ways with our relationship to others. Yesterday a friend posted on Facebook that today she is turning 40. Her request, go donate to an organization,  or talk with someone in need and buy them a meal, or say a kind word to someone who needs it. Isn't this justice? This is no big thing, this is living as Jesus calls us to live. Have a healthy fear of God then go and be kind to others.