Translations: Chinese GB Big5

The Parable of 
The Persistent Widow

Luke 18:1-8  He also spoke a parable to them that they must always pray, and not give up, saying,

"There was a judge in a certain city who didn’t fear God, and didn’t respect man. A widow was in that city, and she often came to him, saying, ‘Defend me from my adversary!’ He wouldn’t for a while, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God, nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will defend her, or else she will wear me out by her continual coming.’"

The Lord said, "Listen to what the unrighteous judge says. Won’t God avenge his chosen ones, who are crying out to him day and night, and yet he exercises patience with them? I tell you that he will avenge them quickly. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" (web)


Discussion Questions

What injustices have you had to suffer?
Have you prayed about these? Take time to pray
Meditate on Psalm 7.
What detrimental attitudes can develop if we don't seek justice from God?
Should we simply ignore injustices done against us - in the name of forgiveness?
What does Jesus mean by "will he find faith on the earth"? How is this issue related to faith?


Comments

This parable is similar to the parable of the Friend in Need. Only this time the request is not being made of a friend, but of someone who is indifferent. And the request is not for a material item, but for justice.

Jesus is not saying that God is indifferent, that he doesn't really care, but rather compared to this unconcerned judge, God would certainly answer since he is concerned. There is a saying, "The squeeky wheel gets oiled" (or something like that). If people make enough noise, others who hadn't cared for their cause, will listen just because they make noise. But often those listening will simply be seeking a way to stop the noise. But we should not think that God has such a callous attitude.

God's chosen ones are always praying. That is simply characteristic of those born of God. But what is this "crying out for justice" idea? Quite dominant in the Psalms is David prayer for justice against his enemies. But in the New Testament we are commanded to love our enemies. However this does not nullify God's justice. For example if a person has unjustly been humiliated, God will affirm that person, lifting up the humble and then humiliating the proud. And similarly when one had been unjustly treated in other ways.

It's easy enough to become bitter and take matters into one's own hands if one has not faith. But then again neither should one have such a poor self-image as to pretend to ignore injustices done against one's person as if one is a door mat. For this only serves to internalize one's bitterness, while creating a shell of insensitivity. Rather one should pray about all unjust suffering we face. For you will face it from your spouse and children, from your boss, from strangers and friends, even from other Christians. We should neither react with hostility nor internalize these things, but make them known to God.

Futhermore in our prayers concerning injustices done to us, do not be too presumptuous about blaming yourself. Self-loathing is perhaps too common among Christians who pray. But rather pray that God will deal justly with the situation. Praying in this manner as an exercise of Biblical faith, which brings glory to God in that it acknowledges God as the source of justice.

"Many seek an audience with a ruler,
but it is from the LORD that man gets justice." Pr 29:26

Rap

Jesus told his disciples a parable one day
That they should not give up when they pray
There once was a judge who really didn't care
Neither for men nor did God he fear
A widow kept coming to him with her plea
"Grant me justice against my adversary."
For some time he refused to hear
But thought,"Though I don't fear God nor do I care,
Yet because this widow keeps bothering me,
It's probably best that I answer her plea,
Else she'll end up wearing me out"
This is what the judge would say, no doubt.
Won't God bring justice for his chosen ones,
Who cry night and day for they are his sons?
Will he keep putting them off?
Certainly not, nor would he scoff.
But when Christ returns will he find on the earth
Such faith so characteristic of the new-birth?

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources


May 10,2010