Unjust Judge with Persistent Widow

Luke 18:1-8
Jesus told his disciples a parable about their need to pray all the time and never give up. He said, “In a city there was a judge who didn’t fear God or respect people. In that city there was also a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ For a while the judge refused.

But later he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or respect people. Yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice. Otherwise, she will keep coming and wear me out.'”

Then the Lord added, “Listen to what the unrighteous judge says. Won’t God grant his chosen people justice when they cry out to him day and night? Is he slow to help them? I tell you, he will give them justice quickly. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Possible Points of Jesus
  1. THE PARABLE ITSELF
    1. THE CHARACTER OF THE JUDGE – Lk 18:2
      1. One who did not fear God nor regard man
      2. An unjust judge, for which this parable is sometimes known as “The Unjust Judge”
    2. THE DISTRESS OF THE WIDOW – Lk 18:3
      1. She has some adversary who has wronged her
      2. She seeks the aid of the judge to avenge her
    3. THE DIFFICULTY SHE FACED – Lk 18:4a
      1. The judge would not help her at first
      2. Repeated attempts seem to fall on deaf ears
    4. AT LAST THE JUDGE HEEDS HER COMPLAINT – Lk 18:4b-5
      1. Not out of any sense for what was right in the sight of God or man
      2. But only to avoid being wearied by her constant appeals
  2. THE PARABLE APPLIED
    1. HEAR WHAT THE UNJUST JUDGE SAID…
      1. He was moved by the persistence of the widow
      2. Even when he was not moved by reverence for God or regard for man
    2. SHALL NOT GOD AVENGE HIS OWN ELECT?
      1. This is an argument from the lesser to the greater
        1. If an unjust judge will heed a persistence widow…
        2. …how much more will a Just God heed His chosen people!
      2. Our assurance is even stronger when we note the following contrasts:
        The Widow God’s People
        1. A stranger
        2. Only one
        3. At a distance
        4. An unjust judge
        5. On her own
        6. Pleads her own case
        7. No promise of an answer
        8. Access limited
        9. Asking provoked judge
        1. His elect, 1Pe 2:9-10
        2. We are many
        3. We can come boldly, He 4:15-16
        4. A righteous Father
        5. God is for us, Ro 8:31-32
        6. We have an Advocate, Ro 8:34
        7. Promise given, Lk 18:8a
        8. Access unlimited (can pray to God anytime)
        9. Asking delights God
      3. If persistence paid off for the widow, how much more for God’s elect who pray?
    3. GOD WILL AVENGE HIS ELECT!
      1. He may bear long with the prayers of His persecuted people… – Lk 18:7b
        1. For example, cf. Re 6:9-10
        2. His longsuffering may be to give the persecutors time to repent – 2Pe 3:9
      2. But when His vengeance comes, it will come swiftly!
        1. There is a Day coming in which God will take vengeance – cf. 2Th 1:7-9
        2. And when it comes, there will be “sudden destruction” with no way of escape – cf. 1Th 5:1-3
    4. BUT WILL THERE BE FAITH ON THE EARTH WHEN HE COMES?
      1. The Lord will come, avenging His elect
      2. But His delay may prompt some to lose faith (implying lack of prayer is indicative of a lack of faith!)
      3. The Lord’s concern over this matter is what prompts this parable!
        1. That men always ought to pray
        2. That men not lose heart
  3. CONCLUSION
    1. Have you begun to lose heart? Has your faith weakened?
      1. The state of your “prayer life” reveals the true condition of your faith!
      2. If you do not pray “always” (cf. “without ceasing” 1Th 5:17), your faith is waning!
    2. But the Lord has given us reason to believe in the power of prayer in this parable…
      1. Especially when we are persecuted for the cause of Christ
      2. For we do not serve an unjust judge, but a God who has made us His elect people!

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