When Jesus assured the disciples that “faith the size of a mustard seed” could accomplish mighty works, he introduced a core principle of God’s Kingdom: the movement of God’s grace is from lesser things to greater things. God’s love moves us from places of sin and darkness into God’s glorious light. Through grace we go from moments of imperfect justice and “unrighteous judges” to a realm where God’s justice flows like water, and righteousness like an everlasting stream. In God’s Kingdom, the landscape of this world’s searing violence, discord, and war gives way to the high meadows of God’s country, where steadfast love and faithfulness shall meet, and righteousness and peace shall kiss each other.
On one hand, the characters in today’s simple parable from Jesus—a powerless widow and and unrighteous judge who couldn’t care less about her—reveal the imperfections and flaws in our present world. On the other hand, it is a story that reminds us that even in this flawed world grace gets its foot in the door, and through persistence, some small measure of justice can be found. From this “lesser” version of justice we derive so much hope, for the greater truth is that God’s deepest desire is to fully vindicate all of his children.