Summary: We should pray persistently
Don’t Ever Give Up
Our scripture reading for today is called the parable of the persistent widow. The
widow is persistent. Now let’s see, just what does persistent mean? According to
the dictionary, persistent means to be insistent in a statement or request, to stand
firm permanently in spite of opposition; persevering. Constantly repeated;
continued. Yeah, I think the widow qualifies as persistent. She continued to come
before the judge, constantly repeating her request for justice. She refused to give up.
Persistence is a common theme throughout the Bible.
O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent.
But I call to God, and the LORD saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in
distress, and he hears my voice. Psalm 55:16-17
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long. Psalm 86:3
I call to you, O LORD, every day; I spread out my hands to you. Psalm 88:9
In Luke 11, a friend comes at midnight for 3 loaves of bread but the one inside tells
him to go away. Because of the friends persistence, the one inside gets up and gives
him as much as he needs.
John 5:1-8 The invalid spent 38 years trying to be healed in the pool.
Acts 5:42 “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never
stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.”
Persistence..... the parable of the widow isn’t the only story of persistence in the
You know, people often tell me they don’t understand parables, but we don’t have
that problem with this one. Luke tells us "up front" what Jesus means by this
parable. This story is to prompt us 1) TO "LIVE IN GOD’S FACE" in that we bring
every burden and every joy to Him. This is totally foreign to those who don’t know
our God. But it is the way He has designed that His people should live. This story is
also to encourage us 2) NOT TO GIVE UP! God intends that we should lean on
Him-- depend on Him in the spiritual warfare that is the reality of life. I’ve talked to
many people who believe the saying: “God will never give us more than we can
handle.” I used to believe that, too, but I now believe that, sometimes, God gives us
more than we can handle, so we can learn to lean on Him.
Point: If an unjust judge eventually listens to widow, how much more quickly will a
caring, loving God respond to one of His children..
We can have more assurance in these contrasts: Widow: a stranger. Us: His elect.
Widow: one. Us: many. Widow: facing an unjust judge. Us: righteous Father.
Widow: On her own. Us: God is for us. Widow: Pleads her own case. Us: We
have an Advocate. Widow: No promise of an answer. Us: Promise of an answer
given. Widow: limited access. Us: unlimited access(can pray to God anytime).
Widow: Asking provoked judge. Us: Asking delights God
Notice that this widow kept coming to the judge with her petition. Here is a picture
of persistence. She could have said:
I am not important enough for the judge to listen to me.
The Judge is too busy to listen to me.
He won’t do anything anyway.
He isn’t powerful enough to change things.
He just doesn’t care.
I just don’t care. It’s mind over matter. If I don’t mind it doesn’t matter.
Now, we do not know who this widow was, but it was not uncommon in that day
for a widow to have an adversary who was trying to take advantage of her. She may
not have had any family. A widow in those days was pretty defenseless. Someone
may have been trying to get her money or cheat her out of her land.
In any case, she had an adversary; she had a problem, and this judge was her only
hope. This widow was gripped by her request. So she came. "Grant me justice
against my adversary," she said. Continually she called to him. “Grant me
justice.” But she was talking to a hard man.
Let’s look at this judge. It says that he was a man who neither feared God nor
cared about men. This may mean that he wasn’t a Jew since Jews had a holy
respect and fear for God. It seems that he was very secure in his position and in his
authority because he did not care what men said.
Those who came before him, came fearfully unless they had a bribe, or great power
and influence. But the widow came. And when He did not act, she came again.