Summary: Jesus tells us to pray and not give up-He already taught the content of prayer-Persistence in the Lord's Prayer is required if we are to see God work.
18 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ” 6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
Luke tells us the reason for this parable, even before we hear it from the lips of Jesus-it was an exhortation to pray and not grow weary-to ask and persist until God answers.
There is no mystery concerning meaning here.
The point of the parable is to exhort us to pray and not to give up.
From Napoleon Hill’s “Think & Grow Rich”
illus. An uncle of R. U. Darby was caught by the "gold fever" in the gold-rush days . . . He staked a claim and went to work with pick and shovel. . . After weeks of labor, he was rewarded by the discovery of the [gold]. He needed machinery to bring the ore to the surface. Quietly, he covered up the mine, retraced his footsteps to his home in Williamsburg, Maryland, told his relatives and a few neighbors of the "strike." They got together money for the needed machinery, had it shipped. The uncle and Darby went back to work the mine.
. . . The (first) returns proved they had one of the richest mines in Colorado . . . Then something happened! The vein of gold ore disappeared . . . They drilled on, desperately trying to pick up the vein again-all to no avail.
Finally, they decided to QUIT. They sold the machinery to a junk man for a few hundred dollars, and took the train back home. [the junk man] called in a mining engineer to look at the mine and do a little calculating. The engineer advised that the project had failed, because the owners were not familiar with "fault lines." His calculations showed that the vein would be found JUST THREE FEET FROM WHERE THE DARBYS HAD STOPPED DRILLING! That is exactly where it was found!
The "Junk" man took millions of dollars [gold] from the mine . . .
I think it’s also important to keep in mind the context of this parable. Jesus has already taught His disciples the content of prayer-we studied it last week, and many of us repeat it in some form every day:
"Our Father in heaven, may Your name be hallowed, Your Kingdom Come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us day-by-day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we have already forgiven those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil (one).
Let’s put the content of the prayer Jesus taught His disciples into the lesson of this parable.
When people blatantly defame God’s name, and embrace a plethora of evil and base things to worship; When the government is corrupt, the economy leaves millions in squalid poverty, justice is reserved for those who are willing to pay a bribe, and the democratic system seems to be leading the nation toward tyranny, how do you respond?
Jesus says pray: “Thy name be hallowed, Thy Kingdom come.”
Illus. A few months ago we faced what some people thought was a crisis for the music school. We have applied for a certain government qualification for the organization which would make it much easier to do the work God has called us to do. The government officials were making it very difficult-saying we owed the government 2100000 rupees, when we didn’t even have 21000 in the bank, that we would never get the qualification for two or three reasons . . . unless we offer a bribe to the government official, who would be very happy to make all of those problems go away.
We’ve done everything the government requires, and so when my accountant came with this news I was very calm. I told him “if they require us to pay 2100000 rupees, we’ll find a way to do it. We will do everything they require of us legally. But I will not pay a bribe. If we don’t get this qualification, then God will find some other way to provide. This organization belongs to Him. If we honor Him, He is the one who is responsible to guide us and meet our needs.