Summary: Sermon on Parable of the Persistent widow
Tell Me a Story
The Persistent Widow
God wants me to pray persistently
Persistent prayer helps me keep focus…
…on who God is (v. 6-7a)
…on who I am (v. 7b)
…on what’s important
Persistent prayer helps me produce fruit (v. 5-7)(John 15:7-8)
Persistent prayer helps me demonstrate faith (v.8)
Have you ever spent time praying for something and nothing seems to happen?
Do you ever struggle with the apparent silence of God to some of our requests?
Do you ever just give up praying for something because God just doesn’t seem to be answering?
Lord, make my marriage better, but it doesn’t seem to get better
Lord, help me with these struggling finances, but they are still a struggle
Lord, help find a cure for cancer, but cancer still kills.
If you have, you are not alone.
I am sure all of us have faced times when prayer did not seem to be having any affect on our situation.
Maybe we have faced a time of injustice and we have prayed only to be met with what seems to us as the silence of God.
What is happening in this silence?
Why is God not listening?
Or is He listening and we just don’t see the work that is going on?
This morning we are going to read a story told by Jesus of a persistent widow and an unjust Judge in
Luke 18:1-8 (p. 742)
Here is a woman who has suffered injustice and is looking for justice to be served but no one is hearing her.
Let’s read this story and see what the Lord would have us learn from this story of the Persistent Widow and unjust judge.
1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3 And 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, 5 yet 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!’"
6 And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 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? 8 I 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?"
Now before we begin, there are a couple things we need to understand.
Some people when they read this think, God is being compared to an unjust judge, like someone we need to pester if we are going to get our way.
That is not the case.
This story is not so much a comparison as it is a “how much more” story.
Jesus starts out many of his parables with “the kingdom of heaven is like…” and he often compares something to help describe a certain aspect of what he is trying to teach.
But in this story, it is more like, if evil men will do justice when they don’t want to, then how much more will it be with God.
If the persistence of a widow will cause even an unjust judge to see justice is served because it will benefit him, how much more will a God who is good see that justice is served for his people?
So it is more of a contrast between God and the unjust judge than a comparison.
Now what is it that God wants us to learn from telling us this story?
First, we need to see that
God wants me to Pray Persistently
Now this is kind of hard to see from this, but let’s see if we can pull this out of the first verse.
1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
Now when you go back to the original Greek and you take the last part of the sentence, you will find that what “should always pray and not give up,” really means is that you should always pray and not give up.
My point is that He tells us directly that He wants us to pray persistently.
He is not leaving this as something we need to figure out or interpret.
He tells us directly and this is the entire point of the story He tells.