How much more...
by Lois Tverberg
Jesus uses parables to explain difficult theological ideas with stories of everyday things. One of the methods he uses is a technique called kal v'homer, meaning "light and heavy." It was of teaching a larger truth by comparing it to a similar, but smaller situation. Often the phrase "how much more" would be part of the saying.
Jesus used this when he taught about worry, in today's passage above. We also see it in parables where he doesn't necessarily use the phrase "how much more":
Here we see an unjust judge finally grants justice to a widow who keeps bothering him. Jesus concludes that if an unjust judge will help a widow who keeps coming to him, how much more will God answer the prayers of those who keep praying! Jesus tells another story of a man who goes to his neighbor asking for bread to feed some unexpected guests. He says, even if the neighbor would not give him bread because he is a friend, he will do it because of the man's obnoxious persistence.
If we understand that Jesus is deliberately contrasting these people who are very unlike God, we see how much greater he is! God is not a callous judge - he cares deeply for the widow and orphan. God is not a sleepy neighbor, he knows our every need, and wants our good at all time. If even the very least godly people will act to help us when pressed, how great will God's answers be to the persistent prayers that we bring to him!
| ©2003 Lois A. Tverberg, Ph.D., OurRabbiJesus.com. All rights
reserved. This article is copyrighted and may not be redistributed
without the express written consent of the author. To request
permission for use, contact Tverberg@OurRabbiJesus.com.