"THE PARABLES OF JESUS"
The Persistent Widow (Lk 18:1-8)
2. This is not the first time Jesus used a parable to teaching
a. Remember "The Friend At Midnight"? – Lk 11:5-13
b. In which Jesus taught the value of persistence in prayer?
3. Evidently the element of persistence in prayer was very important to
a. For that is also the theme of the first parable in Luke 18
b. As the first verse reads: "Then He spoke a parable to them, that
men always ought to pray and not lose heart…"
[Are we persistent in our prayers? Do we appreciate the value of such
persistence? Or have we lost heart and don’t pray as we ought? Let’s
see what we can glean from the parable of "The Persistent Widow"…]
I. THE PARABLE ITSELF
A. 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"
B. 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
C. 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
D. 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
[Unlike many of the parables, we are not left on our own to determine
the point of this parable. Jesus Himself makes it clear as we
II. THE PARABLE APPLIED
A. 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
B. SHALL NOT GOD AVENGE HIS OWN ELECT?
1. This is an argument from the lesser to the greater
a. If an unjust judge will heed a persistence widow…
b. how much more will a Just God heed His chosen people!
2. Our assurance is even stronger when we note the following
The Widow God’s People
a. A stranger a. His elect, 1 Pe 2:9-10
b. Only one b. We are many
c. At a distance c. We can come boldly, He 4:15-16
d. An unjust judge d. A righteous Father
e. On her own e. God is for us, Ro 8:31-32
f. Pleads her own case f. We have an Advocate, Ro 8:34
g. No promise of an answer g. Promise given, Lk 18:8a
h. Access limited h. Access unlimited (can pray anytime)
i. Asking provoked judge i. Asking delights God
3. If persistence paid off for the widow, how much more for God’s
elect who pray?
C. GOD WILL AVENGE HIS ELECT!
1. He may bear long with the prayers of His persecuted people…
– Lk 18:7b
a. For example, cf. Re 6:9-10
b. His longsuffering may be to give the persecutors time to
repent – 2 Pe 3:9
2. But when His vengeance comes, it will come swiftly!
a. There is a Day coming in which God will take vengeance
– cf. 2 Th 1:7-9
b. And when it comes, there will be "sudden destruction" with
no way of escape – cf. 1 Th 5:1-3
D. 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
a. That we always ought to pray
b. That we not lose heart
1. Have you begun to lose heart? Has your faith weakened?
a. The state of your "prayer life" reveals the true condition of
b. If you do not pray "always" (cf. "without ceasing" 1 Th 5:17),
your faith is waning!
2. But the Lord has given us reason to believe in the power of prayer
in this parable…
a. Especially when we are persecuted for the cause of Christ
b. For we do not serve an unjust judge, but a God who has made us
His elect people!
May this parable of "The Persistent Widow", along with "The Friend At
Midnight", encourage us never to lose heart and stop praying!