By the time of Luke's Gospel, people had realised that the end of the world, as we know it,
had not materialised as Jesus had foretold, or as they had understood him to say.
They were still suffering the same ills and under the same rulers.
Nothing had seemingly changed.
Luke loves to explain the parables of Jesus for his readers.
It makes sure that they don't get the wrong answer; misinterpret.
Here he is preaching persistence in prayer, with the subtext
that we may be called to account at any minute.
The poor and disadvantaged will receive justice
if they remain faithful, keep praying,
keep supporting the church maybe.
The word "avenge" exposes the concepts of the translator
The Christian Empire has interpreted God's justice as one of vengeance.
God's enemies, our enemies, will be slaughtered; receive due punishment.
This is just the same principle that appears, repeatedly, in the Old Testament,
but it is difficult to fit this concept into the thread of what Jesus was saying,
though countless theologians have bent the Bible to meet that challenge.
Here the widow is not calling for vengeance but for a fair distribution of resources.
She appeals to the judge for a restitution of her rights not for vengeance.
She is poor and she needs that state ameliorated.
She needs distributive justice not revenge.
In the same way, divine justice is targeted at fair distribution of resources.
For the hungry to be filled. For love of neighbour to overcome our survival instincts
as we share the goodness that is implicit in membership of God's Kingdom.
That Kingdom is coming, but there are terrible roadblocks in its path.
Not least is our individual quest for personal eternal survival.
Jesus said "I come to serve, not be served".
How things have changed! .