Luke 18:1–8 (NKJV)
In this brief passage, Jesus tells a story of a widow looking for justice who is rebuffed by a dispassionate judge. She eventually receives justice because of her persistent pleas. Jesus uses the story to teach on persistent prayer.
18:1 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.’ ”Luke 18:1-8
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 begins the passage with a setup statement that men ought to pray and not lost heart. This statement makes it clear that persistence is necessary for one to see their needs met. Don’t give up. He then described the situation of a widow who had been taken advantage of, and who sought relief from the judge in her city. This judge was not compassionate at all, and unable to be swayed by reason or emotion. The widow’s persistence, though, eventually swayed the judge to give her satisfaction.
Jesus then told the people listening to him that the unjust judge had words for them to consider. If he would hear from this widow because she did not give up her requests, then surely the Lord would avenge His elect. Therefore, pray without ceasing and always believe. The final statement of this passage is ominous and saddening, though: “Will He really find faith on the earth?” Let us not allow this prophetic question to come to fruition in our lives. Live, walk, and pray in faith!