Summary: The Parable of the Persistant Widow. God does not judge like the human judge. He does what is right and quickly, there’s no back log and no need for a bribe!
The Parable of the Persistent Widow; Luke18:1-8.
Jesus taught his disciples how to pray, we have the Lords Prayer as an example of prayer. We also have in Luke’s gospel a little parable about prayer. Jesus uses the story of an un-just judge and a persistently annoying widow woman to make his point.
This is what he says to his disciples. Luke 18: 1-8.
There’s a few interesting facts in this story that all add to the picture:
i) The judge mentioned was as a real bad egg! How do we know? This judge was according to William Barclay [not a Jewish judge; as ordinary Jewish disagreements went before the elders and didn’t get to court. If a dispute got beyond the elders ability to settle, three judges sat on the case, one chosen by either side and one who was independent.
So this one judge was a paid magistrate, who was appointed by either Herod or the Romans. These state appointed judges were notorious, and usually a bribe and a complainants personal status were required to get anywhere with a case.] In other words a backhander and a fair amount of personal clout were required to get anywhere with one of these judges.
These judges had a reputation for perverting justice. They rightly earned the popular name “robber judges” .
ii) The widow was poor and she was defenceless, widows had it tough in biblical times, it was extremely hard to be a widow, there was no social welfare. If they couldn’t work widows were reliant on the generosity of family and friends. This widow was poor and it appears that she had no real significance, and there was one around who would go into bat for her.
All she had was a good set of vocal cords and a stubborn determination; you’ve almost got to wonder if it was this is why her husband meet his demise?
I like that proverb, “Better to live on a corner of a roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.” (Proverbs 21:9 and 25:24) This is one of the few proverbs that are repeated word for word. Maybe, her husband fell off the corner of the roof?
It’s thought that this dear lady, being poor, would not have had the mandatory bribe to see the judge in the first place so she would most likely have made her plea from outside the tent where the judge was sitting.
Picture it inside the tent, cases being heard, judgements being made, money changing hands, all nice and corrupt, but very orderly. Outside does this woman keep quiet? Not on life she lets fly at the top of her lungs; “Grant me justice against my adversary.”
The judge who’s thinking what’s in it for me? Refuses to see her, but she sticks to her guns, “Grant me justice against my adversary.” For sometime he refused, “Grant me justice against my adversary.” “Grant me justice against my adversary.” “Grant me justice against my adversary.” “Grant me justice against my adversary.”
Are you getting the picture? This woman was determined she was going to be heard or destroy her voice trying. Not only that, it seems this may have gone on for some hours or even days. Nag, nag, nag!
iii) The judge who at this stage was probably becoming concerned for his sanity and to avoid further public embarrassment makes a decision. “Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she won’t wear me out with her coming.”
iv) What is it Jesus says about this, firstly, he says “Listen to what the unjust judge says. “ This judge doesn’t care about the woman’s case he is concerned for his own weariness, this woman is wearing him out. She’s harassed him to the point of surrender.
Parents have you ever been in that position where a child, one of those sweet innocent creatures comes to you and says “mother/ father can I please have a/or do such and such”. As a wise parent you know that this is not what they need, so you say “no”. Five minutes later the same child who of course being a child has forgotten the answer comes and asks again. The answer, “no!” Two minutes later, “No!” One minute later “NO!!” But by persisting they either catch you of guard or wear you down and you blurt out something like, “If it will give me a moments peace, just do it”, and before you know it you’ve agreed to a dozen eight year olds having a sleep over at your place. Trust me from experience if they come back the second time, give them time out or remove some privilege from them. I don’t give to many parenting tips but that one works.