Everything you need to know about The Persistent Widow? The parable of the persistent widow and the unjust judge (Luke 18:1–8) is part of a series of illustrative lessons Jesus Christ used to teach His disciples about prayer. Luke introduces this lesson as a parable meant to show the disciples “that they should always pray and never give up” (verse 1, NLT).
Jesus presents a final quiz on the matter at the end of the parable of the persistent widow and unjust judge. He asks, “But when the Son of Man returns, how many will He find on the earth who have faith?” (Luke 18:8, NLT). Just as Paul stresses in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, continual devotion to prayer should be a way of life. The Lord wants to know if He will find any faithful prayer warriors left on the earth when He returns. Will we be among God’s people still praying at Christ’s second coming, “Your Kingdom come, your will be done” (Matthew 6:10)?
Probably all of us have thought that we know better than those in charge. Watch out! Thinking like this is not wrong in itself, but it is something that lodged itself in the mind of Helel (the name of the “covering cherub” before he became Satan): “I know better than the one in charge,” and in this case, it was God. We can begin to see how his pride was beginning to exalt itself against God. It was moving to break the relationship between them. It was coming between Helel and God so that their relationship could not continue. Helel could not continue to serve God.
I will give her justice so that she won’t eventually come and attack me. Now, this story seems a little bit strange, but let’s talk about it. So Jesus told his disciples, this parable to show them how to pray and never give up in this story. We have a widow that’s supposed to represent us, but who is this judge? Surely Jesus. Isn’t comparing God to an unjust judge. What Jesus wants us to see here is that God is not like this judge. He is good. And he is just because of this. Whenever we come before him with our problems and cry out to him, he’ll always answer. And he won’t delay in answering our prayers. He’ll make it happen. And quickly then Jesus ends by saying however, when the son of man comes, will he find faith on the earth? Why does Jesus mention faith? What does that have to do with persistence or prayer? Well, let’s look at it this way. If we don’t have faith that God’s going to do what he says, he’ll do. We won’t be like this persistent. We’ll give up because we don’t believe that he’s going to work in the way that he tells us he will. But if we have faith, we’ll continue asking and asking and seeking God until he gives us an answer. See even more information on the The Persistent Widow video on YouTube.
The second point is that only God can bring about justice in a corrupt world. That is why we must pray and not give up in our work. God can bring miraculous justice in a corrupt world, just as God can bring miraculous healing in a sick world. Suddenly, the Berlin wall opens, the apartheid regime crumbles, peace breaks out. In the parable of the persistent widow, God does not intervene. The widow’s persistence alone leads the judge to act justly. But Jesus indicates that God is the unseen actor. “Will not God grant justice for his chosen ones who cry to him day and night?” (Luke 18:7).