And The Judge
PART VI: THE PARABLES ON PRAYERThen Jesus told his disciples a
CHAPTER 25 THE WIDOW AND THE JUDGE
This parable has been called The Unjust Judge (Trench);
The Unrighteous Judge (Morgan); The Parable of the Persistent
Widow (New International Version); The Parable of the Widow
and the Judge (Today's English Version); The story of the
godless judge (Williams) and God Hears (Beck). All the
titles suggest a different facet of the truth that Jesus
conveyed in this parable. The Parable of the Widow and the
Judge is found only in Luke 18:1-8.
parable to show them that they should
always pray and not give up. He said:
"In a certain town there was a judge who
neither feared God nor cared about men.
And there was a widow in that town who
kept coming to him with the plea, `Grant
me justice against my adversary.'
"For some time he refused. But
finally he said to himself, `Even though
I don't fear God or care about men, yet
because this widow keeps bothering me, I
will see that she gets justice, so that
she won't eventually wear me out with her
And the Lord said, "Listen to what
the unjust judge says. And will not God
bring about justice for his chosen ones,
who cry out to him day and night? Will
he keep putting them off? I tell you, he
will see that they get justice, and
quickly, However, when the Son of Man
comes, will he find faith on the earth?"
(Luke 18:1-8, New International Version).
This judge was not the type of judge we have today. HeJesus himself interprets his parable. Trench gives the
was not a Jewish judge, but rather a paid magistrate
appointed by Herod or the Romans. They were notorious and
took bribes. (Barclay, DAILY BIBLE STUDY SERIES, LUKE, p. ?).
The Greek text reveals that he "had neither reverence for God
nor respect for man." (Turnbull, Gen. ed., PROCLAIMING THE
NEW TESTAMENT, THE GOSPEL OF LUKE, by Ralph Earle, p. 80).
Widows did not have the care and protection then as they
have today in America. Trench informs us that
Many writers have noticed the exceeding desolation
of the state of widowhood in the East, and the
consequent exposure to all manner of oppression; of
this, the numerous warnings in Scripture against
such oppression, are sufficient evidence (Exod.
xxii. 22; Deut. xxiv. 17; Mal. iii. 5, and many
more). (Trench, NOTES ON THE PARABLES OF OUR LORD,
With that background in mind, let us look at the story that
The widow's case would seem hopeless. She had no
husband for physical, legal and psychological protection. The
judge that was her legal recourse, did not reverence God and
he had no respect for human beings.
Yet the widow came to the corrupt judge and asked him
for justice concerning the person who was taking advantage of
her weak position. The judge tried to brush her aside.
However, she would not take "No" for an answer.
The judge reasoned within himself, "I don't believe in
God and I don't care anything about this woman. However, if
I don't insure that she receives justice, she is going to
keep coming and continue this verbal pummeling." The phrase
"wear me out" is a weak rendering of the original Greek which
is a metaphor taken from boxing, which means to be beaten on
the face until the eyes become black. (Turnbull, Gen. ed.,
PROCLAIMING THE NEW TESTAMENT, THE GOSPEL OF LUKE,
by Ralph Earle, p. 81). (Clarke, COMMENTARY ON THE HOLY
BIBLE, Abridged by Ralph Earle, p. 883).
logic of Jesus:
If a bad man will yield to the mere force of the
importunity [shameless persistence or "nagging"]
which he hates, how much more certainly will a
righteous God be prevailed on by the faithful
prayer which He loves. (Trench, NOTES ON THE
PARABLES OF OUR LORD, p. 177).
GOD WANTS US TO ASK HIM FOR OUR NEEDS
THEN HE WANTS US TO PERSIST IN FAITH
UNTIL HE ANSWERS PRAYER.
Jesus taught us that we "should always pray and never
give up." (Luke 18:1, paraphrased). Prayer is both
listening and talking to God. Even when we are doing other
tasks, we can have our "spiritual modems" turned on to
receive messages from our Heavenly Father.
After we have prayed in line with God's Word for our
needs, we must not give up if our prayer is not answered
immediately. We must persist in faith until we receive the