If you’re like me, you don’t like waiting lines. Whether it’s waiting in traffic, waiting for a doctor, for a cashier, for a teller, or for an answer to that interminable call for customer service that requires waiting on hold because “your call is important to us,” I REALLY don’t like waiting.
If you’re like me in having been taught in church that we must wait upon the Lord, that God’s delays are not God’s denials, that “wait awhile” is how God often answers our prayers, then I have some good news for you today. Here’s the REAL Gospel. God never keeps us waiting. God stops to take care of us immediately. NO WAIT TIME in His line.
Don’t believe me? Then turn with me to Luke 18. I’m serious. Go ahead. Find your Bible now and then find Luke 18. I know you’re busy, but this won’t take long.
Let’s break this chapter into 6 parts. Ready? So part one is The Parable of the Persistent Widow, verses 1-8. Often we read this to mean that Jesus wants us to persist in our prayers, much like this despairing widow in the parable. Quite the opposite! Unlike the unrighteous Judge, God hears us the first time and answers us immediately. With God, we get justice quickly — v. 8. It’s the world’s judicial system that keep us waiting and makes us desperate. In God’s Kingdom, we don’t have to wait for justice. That would be in the world’s kingdom.
Part two is the Parable of the Tax Collector, verses 9-14. Notice the holy man even tithes! The preacher’s best friend has just prayed a holiness prayer! Except, does he go away with an immediate answer? Well, no. He’s probably still waiting for his blessing. Meanwhile, it’s the unholy man who leaves with an immediate blessing. In God’s Kingdom, we don’t have to wait for holiness. That would be in the world’s kingdom.
Part three is about Jesus and the Little Children, verses 15-17. When I was a little kid, the hardest thing to hear was always, “wait til you’re older or wait til you’re bigger.” I felt utterly helpless to make myself older or bigger. The world says that a lot. Jesus never says it. NEVER. In God’s Kingdom, we don’t have to wait until we’re older. That would be in the world’s kingdom.
Part four is about Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler, verses 19-30. How long does it take to get rich? Does it usually happen quickly? For me, at age 69, I have to confess something. It look me a long time to save enough money to retire. I want it to take the rest of my life to get rid of it all. Hard to come, hard to go — far as I’m concerned. I’m no better than the rich young ruler in this story. But I’m not sure that’s even the point. Rather, it’s easy to come, easy to go — far as Jesus is concerned. . In God’s Kingdom, we don’t have to wait until we’re richer. That would be in the world’s kingdom.
Part five is about Jesus predicting his Death and Resurrection, verses 31-34. His disciples had, as Jews, been waiting a long time for the Messiah to bring Israel’s salvation. Jesus is essentially telling them here to “wait no longer.” The waiting is over. He’s going to the cross. But that’s not all. He’s coming again. At the resurrection. That’s right, at the resurrection. Today’s church is still waiting for Jesus to come again. But what if it’s already happened? What if the second coming was the resurrection? What if the waiting is over? . In God’s Kingdom, we don’t have to wait until Jesus returns. That would be in the world’s kingdom.
Okay, last part. Jesus and the Blind Beggar, verses 35-43. Chapter ends as it begins, with a beggar. Not a widow this time, but a blind man. In despair. Tired of waiting. Persistent. It’s been a long time of having to wait. And wait.
Until Jesus comes!
Jesus stops, says “receive your sight.” And the wait is over. In God’s Kingdom, we don’t have to wait for our sight. That would be in the world’s kingdom.
If you’re like me, and tired of all the waiting lines, let’s at least accept that this has to do with waiting for the world. Waiting for the world to reward us for being holier, more grown up, more wealthy or powerful, or healthier. It has nothing to do with waiting on the Lord. Nothing to do with God’s delays. God’s Kingdom is the one and only place that gives us an instant reward or blessing. THIS LINE HAS NO WAIT TIMES.