In the Gospel of Luke, Christ asks a curious question:

Luke 18:8b: "However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"

It is as if Christ is predicting that faith in God will have waned so badly as to have departed from mankind. Very early in the Book of Genesis, we read about something like this:

Genesis 6:6-8: "The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD" (emphasis added).

In Noah's day, there were only 8 faithful souls left on earth. Could this be what Christ is alluding to in Luke 18:8? (As well, similar circumstances existed in Sodom where only 4 righteous people were remained.)

7 Answers 7


For what my opinion is worth, yes, I think there are definite thematic connections here! At the risk of talking under your research and thoughts thus far (which have the decided ring of a well-crafted discourse):

Contextually, this verse:

Luke 18:8b "However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

comes at the end of a passage where Jesus is talking to his disciples about the "coming of the Son of Man", beginning in the previous chapter:

Luke 17:22 Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it."

In spite of the tendency for us to separate chapter 17 from chapter 18, there are clear markers indicating the unity of everything said from 17:22 to 18:8, most notably the continued mention of the topic in 18:8b ("However, when the Son of Man comes...") as well as the phrase in 17:22 ("Then he said to his disciples..."), which is echoed in 18:1 ("Then Jesus told his disciples..."). Additionally, the parable in 18:1-8 is:

Luke 18:1b ...to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

Why would they be feeling hopeless? Because Jesus had just told them that the "taking" of this person and the "leaving" of that one was actually a reference to people being killed or surviving the events accompanying that Day:

Luke 17:35b - 37 [O]ne will be taken and the other left.” “Where, Lord?” they asked. He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”

Additionally, ending the Day of the Lord discourse with a 'takeaway' on faith (i.e., Luke 18:8b) creates a bookend with Luke 17:1-19. Firstly, the admonitory illustration of the mulberry tree is in response to the disciples' statement that they lack the faith to carry out Jesus' instructions:

Luke 17:3-4 “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”

Secondly, this is followed by the story of the ten men with leprosy in which, interestingly, it is the man who returns to Jesus (as opposed to Jesus returning to the world), who is found to have faith.

On the back of this unity of 17:22 - 18:8, together with the 'faith bookend', the connection to Genesis falls into the lap, given that Jesus uses the both the flood and the account of Sodom and Gomorrah to illustrate the sudden and destructive nature of the coming of the Son of Man:

Luke 17:26 - 29 “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all."

Elsewhere in the New Testament, e.g., Peter's Day of the Lord systematic, if you will, in 2 Peter 3, we see clear allusions to Luke 18 / Matthew 24 / Mark 13 in terms of the content of the passage (and possibly even in the use of exact phrases and / or words, which I have not investigated), and note in particular the references to faith in 2 Peter 3:13 (with vs 12b as context):

2 Peter 3:12b - 13 That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

This "looking forward to things yet unseen, in keeping with [God's] promise" is, of course a very familiar definition of faith in the early church:

Hebrews 11:1-2 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

Noah's faith is, of course, specifically mentioned in this passage:

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.

(However, these passage would of course have been written after Jesus spoke the words that found their way into the gospels, so 2 Peter and Hebrews would not have informed Jesus' words in Luke 18 in any way (unlike Genesis), rather the other way around.)

In conclusion, whilst the "favour" of Genesis 6:8 might not tie directly to the "faith" of Luke 18:8b etymologically speaking, the themes of judgement, rescue, faith, grace, promise and obedience ring loudly through Genesis 6 and Luke 17/18, creating thematic parallels that are echoed in Peter's second letter, as well as in the book of Hebrews, to name but two instances.

  • 1
    +1 nice inter-chapter contextualization :)
    – user35953
    Sep 12, 2021 at 19:43
  • Thanks @TonyChan, whew this answer took on a life of its own haha.
    – user36337
    Sep 12, 2021 at 19:50
  • 1
    Very well done! +1
    – Rajesh
    Jan 7, 2022 at 7:10
  • Thanks so much Rajesh, much appreciated :)
    – user36337
    Jan 7, 2022 at 18:39

In examining Jesus' statement in Luke 18:8b, "will He find faith on the earth", it's essential to discern its contextual relevance to the narratives of Noah and Lot's families. Notably, Lot's wife did not escape the impending judgement, underscoring the complexity of faith in salvation.

Contextually, Jesus' query suggests a negative outlook. I concur with the interpretation offered by the OP that Christ is predicting that faith in God will have waned so badly as to have departed from mankind. However, Jesus doesn't explicitly tie this to events in Genesis, but rather to his preceding parable, the "Persistent Widow". Calvin's Commentary may be useful:

Shall he find faith on the earth? Christ expressly foretells that, from his ascension to heaven till his return, unbelievers will abound; meaning by these words that, if the Redeemer does not so speedily appear, the blame of the delay will attach to men, because there will be almost none to look for him. Would that we did not behold so manifest a fulfillment of this prediction! But experience proves that though the world is oppressed and overwhelmed by a huge mass of calamities, there are few indeed in whom the least spark of faith can be discerned. Others understand the word faith to denote uprightness, but the former meaning is more agreeable to the context.

In essence, Jesus suggests that if our faith perseveres akin to the widow's persistence, we will witness ultimate justice.

Furthermore, the book of Revelation offer solace through the concept of the book of life amid the final judgement. Described as a book, it signifies more than mere documentation, with its multiple pages inscribing numerous names-an indication of widespread salvation, unlike the sparse few during Noah and Lot's time.


I agree with Ellicott's comments here that the implied answer to Jesus' question in Luke 18:8 is in the negative -

(8) When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith?—The question implies, it is obvious, an answer in the negative. When St. Luke wrote his Gospel, men were witnessing a primary, though partial, fulfilment of the prophecy. Iniquity was abounding, and the love of many was waxing cold. And yet in one sense He was near, even at the doors (James 5:8-9), when men thought that the wheels of His chariot drove slowly. So has it been, and so will it be, in the great “days of the Lord” in the Church’s history, which are preludes of the final Advent; so shall it be in that Advent itself.

Jesus made the connection Himself between the days of Noah and the days of Lot just a few verse earlier:

Luke 17: 26 Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man: 27 People were eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

Again, we see a similar comment in the next verses -

Luke 17:28 It was the same in the days of Lot: People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 But on the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.

Jesus then goes on with further comments about the time of His second coming and then tells the parables of Luke 18 to illustrate His point.

Luke 18: 6 And the Lord said, “Listen to the words of the unjust judge. 7 Will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He continue to defer their help? 8 I tell you, He will promptly carry out justice on their behalf. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”


There are distinct similarities, for both periods of time relate to times of divine judgment on the Earth. First, when there was so much evil, and so little faith, only eight faithful souls were saved through the flood. The second time is yet to happen - Christ's return to raise the faithful dead and take up to join them and him those living faithful ones on Earth. Immediately will follow the pressing of the gathered vine of the Earth in wrath and judgment (Revelation 19:11-21). Not one faithful soul with saving faith will have been left on the Earth for that trampling, so by then, there will be no faith to be found on the Earth.

An interesting link to one of Spurgeon's sermons was given, which I read, extracting relevant points he made about faith at the time of Christ's return.

"When Jesus comes he will look for precious faith. He has more regard for faith than for all else that earth can yield him… The fact that our Lord, at his coming, will seek for faith should cause us to think very highly of faith. It is no mere act of the intellect; it is a grace of the Holy Spirit which brings glory to God and produces obedience in the heart. Jesus looks for it because he is the proper object of it, and it is by means of it that his great end in his first advent is carried out…

Our text saith not, When the Son of God cometh, but “When the Son of man cometh, will he find faith on the earth?” It is peculiarly as the Son of man that Jesus will sit as a refiner, to discover whether we have true faith or not… [NP] But yet, my brethren, at the winding-up of all things, when revelation shall have received its utmost confirmation, even then faith will be such a rarity on the earth that it is a question if the Lord himself will find it. You have, perhaps, a notion that faith will go on increasing in the world; that the church will grow purer and brighter, and that there will be a wonderful degree of faith among men in the day of our Lord’s appearing. Our Saviour does not tell us so; but he puts the question of our text about it. Even concerning the dawn of the golden age he asks, “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? [NP] I want you to notice the breadth of the region of search. He does not say, shall he find faith among philosophers? When had they any? He does not confine his scrutiny to an ordained ministry or a visible church; but he takes a wider sweep— “Shall he find faith on the earth?” As if he would search from throne to cottage, among the learned and among the ignorant, among public men and obscure individuals; and, after all, it would be a question whether among them all, from the pole to the equator, and again from the equator to the other pole, he would find faith at all. Alas, poor earth, to be so void of faith!"

Then he makes a link to church prayer-meetings, along with the parable Jesus gave leading up to his question about faith, the importune widow insisting on justice for her cause. But here, Spurgeon has switched from the Lord's second advent to his first one. Of course, this is justified, given that the Lord could return any day now, and the idea is to urge faithful, persistent prayer, which he links to strong faith. Then he returns to the second advent.

"My 3rd point is about WHEN… I think it warns us not to dogmatize about what the latter days will be. Jesus puts it as a question. Shall he find faith on the earth? If the Master comes and finds us lukewarm, it will be a calamity indeed. The question stirs a bitter anguish in my soul. I trust it moves you also. It is a question. I cannot answer it, but I open wide the doors of my heart to let it enter and try me. It acts like a fan in the Lord’s hand to purge the floor. It sweeps away my self-confidence and leads me to watch and pray, that I enter not into the temptation of giving up my faith. I pray that we may stand fast when others slide, so that when the Lord cometh we may be found accepted of him." https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/the-search-for-faith/#flipbook/ for both sets of quotes.

This speaks to me of parallels - yes - with the days of Noah, but I note this difference - the only people with faith at that time were to be found safely in the Ark ON the water - not on the Earth. So at the time of the Lord's second advent, I wonder if the only people with faith at that time will be found safely with the Lord (their spiritual 'Ark') and his hosts, immediately prior to the wrath of the Lamb being poured out like a flood on those on the Earth who are found to have no faith.


Could Christ's words "will He find faith on the earth" (Lk. 18:8) parallel Gen. 6:6-8?

I think so. Just a chapter earlier, Jesus says in Luke 7:

26 “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

This is consistent with Matthew 7:

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’


None of the above is the absolute answer even though their is relevance; nevertheless since the son of man means to be born of a woman people once again will be looking to the sky for Jesus to return contrary to the laws of nature that he already confirmed he would not break when satan said for Jesus to cast himself down and he will command his angels to catch you and since he has a new name revelation 3:+2 & was 19:12 & on 22:16 basically 1st, middle, & last we must confirm the possibility of a portion of the war on the lamb may very well be over his identity and therefore concludes the answer I believe to be the most accurate one with the faith that he finds on earth is his own for how at the second coming will he be able to convince us that he is the real him if he doesnt believe in himself & that this is his second coming; and I know this makes perfect sense.

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I've pondered this question Jesus puts to his disciples then, and also through time to us directly in our day. Supposing Jesus not knowing the day of his return, while God his/our Father does, but that it Jesus' return will be 3 1/2 years after the Rapture, well then an answer may be like this -if the Son of Man (anthropos/human) were saying it clearly not cryptic, and considering all Scripture: Who is it that will announce and be the tether of faith that sets n motions my coming? We had past heroes of faith upon which God's hand subsequently moved, is there only a single John the Baptist type left able to sprout and announce? A tether and fulcrum upon which the events immediately preceding Jesus' return are built? It felt impossible to place scriptures and support to this comment proposal answer, I simply drew upon all the other posts and interject the possibilities of my answer being supported to a scholar who attempted to verify or conject on it. Spurgeon was pointing to Faith as the touchstone to Jesus return and my spirit bears witness to the same only I go back a bit further. The manifesting of the scriptures Sons of God, Bride of Christ, Manchild Ministry and like must have an forerunner announcer? Jesus posits the question - who, when and where is he for only my Father knows till you to whom he speaks responds, Jesus is speaking forward and to an individual among us in this unusual snippet of the scriptures.

  • Welcome to the site E V and for pondering this Q. It's also good that you have considered all the other post. However, this site looks for conclusions based upon examining the text(s) in question. It discourages speculation and merely personal opinions. By the end of the answer there needs to be a conclusion, so that it's not left "up in the air". Can you clarify your various thoughts so that readers can grasp what your decision is? I hope you can!
    – Anne
    Apr 11 at 16:55
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    Apr 12 at 2:39
  • Thanks Anne but I cannot because I am only visionary. I was researching the verse and found this site and the string of posts. I knew I would draw some rightful protest but stirred the pot anyway hoping to glean more from others who are studied and able to gather thoughts and write well. Blessings and Cheer
    – E V
    Apr 12 at 2:54
  • Your response appreciated. I was not protesting; just encouraging you to add a bit more for the sake of helping readers follow your line of thought! When an answer is sought by O.Ps. they particularly benefit from some clarity being given to their query. All the best.
    – Anne
    Apr 12 at 9:20
  • Yes, I might flesh it out more fully if I put some effort at it. I didn't take your comment negatively. Thank you.
    – E V
    Apr 13 at 18:35

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