The Parable of the Persistent Widow
Sermon shared by Jonathan Mcleod
Summary: God’s delays are not His denials.
Series: Stories that Changed the World
Audience: General adults
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We don’t like to wait. We want what we want right away.
· ATM machines: If we need cash, we don’t have to wait until the bank opens.
· Fast food: If we wait for more than two minutes for our order, we get annoyed.
· Miracle weight loss pills: Lose 20 pounds in a month without dieting!
· Easy credit: No money down!
Today’s parable teaches us that we need patience and persistence.
1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’”
6And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8I 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?”
A CONTRAST, NOT A COMPARISON
· The judge is not like God. God is COMPASSIONATE and RIGHTEOUS.
· The widow is not like us. We are God’s “CHOSEN ONES.”
· If the judge granted the request of the widow, how much more will God grant the requests of His children.
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? (vv. 6-7).
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:7-11).
ILLUSTRATION: What if the son asks for a stone to eat? Children often makes requests that a good parent has to deny.
DON’T GIVE UP
We need PERSISTENT faith.
We need this kind of faith in two areas:
1. We should not give up PRAYING.
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up (v. 1).
· Don’t think that persistent prayers ANNOY God.
ILLUSTRATION: God doesn’t say, “Oh great, Tom is praying again. What is this, five times already today! Why doesn’t he just take a break!”
· Don’t think that persistent prayers WEAR OUT God.
ILLUSTRATION: A child begging his mother for candy: “Please, please, please, please, please…” He thinks if he keeps on asking for candy his mother will eventually give in. Often this strategy is successful.
2. We should not give up EXPECTING Christ’s return.
“However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (v. 8b).
Jesus had just taught about the second coming (17:20-37).
Jesus warned that His followers would face persecution
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