Everything you need to know about The Parable of the Friend at Night? The characters in the story are a villager who is in bed with his family at midnight and a neighbor with a need. Hospitality was a strictly observed custom in the Middle East, and a man caught without bread for a visitor would be in a shameful and desperately needy position. Only such a need would drive a man to his neighbor’s house at midnight. And only such a need would drive the man to this level of persistence. The Greek word translated “boldness” in the NIV and “persistence” in the NASB implies impudence and audacity. This is what Jesus is saying should be our attitude as we approach the throne of grace—a confident boldness that persists in pursuing God until He grants us mercy and grace (Hebrews 4:16).
Upon reflecting on these three verbs, “Richard Glover suggests that a child, if his mother is near and visible, asks; if she is neither, he seeks; while if she is inaccessible in her room, he knocks” (as cited by John Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount, p.184). I think Glover gets the metaphoric language of Jesus just about right. So, we are to keep on asking. This is what we do when we are certain that the one we are imploring is near and can hear. And we are to keep on seeking. This expects an action on our part. We have to actively look for the one we are imploring. And we are to keep on knocking. This expects further action after having located the one we are imploring. It pictures us as persistently banging on the door to get the person’s attention.
As I have already indicated, this is a pretty long question, but it is pretty easily understood nonetheless. The question demands an answer something like, “Of course my friend would not refuse to help me in such a situation!” Jesus is simply asking us to think about how a friend would indeed get up in the middle of the night in order to help us with a need. And He assumes that we all have friends who would not refuse us but would help us out. After all, isn’t this what friends do? See extra details on the The Parable of the Friend at Night video on YouTube.
The intention of the two parables are identical. Here it is clear that Jesus could not be comparing the heavenly Father with the wicked judge. Note in verse 7, Jesus said that the response of the heavenly Father will be different. It will be quick as He is more than willing to help us. Do we feel that God does not like to answer our prayers and has to be shaken out of His reluctance by our persistent prayers? This is not so. Verse 13 is clear that God wants to give us good things. Do you feel ashamed to ask God for certain things because they are not “spiritual” things? For example, do you feel shy to ask God for a life partner? Some people feel that God does not like to be bothered with our request and therefore would “waste” His time only with the major and spiritual things. These people are shy to present requests that they consider trivial. If you feel this way, please change your attitude today. Write down all those things you have been shy to ask God for and start asking for them.