November 25, 2022 – Friday
Lesson From a Widow
Luke 18:1 NIV
1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
Luke 18:1 NET
1 Then Jesus told them a parable to show them they should always pray and not lose heart.
Luke 18:1 CEV
1 Jesus told his disciples a story about how they should keep on praying and never give up:
Jesus in telling this story or parable was to make it clear that when we begin praying for or over something we should always pray or keep on praying. Then He added, and not give up or not lose heart or never give up. This latter direction led me to look up the word translated thusly. I found Strong’s Greek 1573, ekkakéō, which in the HELPS Word-studies here gave this definition, properly, to be negatively influenced with the outcome of experiencing inner weariness. Thus, we are not only to be always praying, but we are not to let our inner weariness influence whether or not we will continue praying. Paraphrasing we are to persevere in prayer no matter how emotionally, mentally, or spiritually weary we become.
The direction alone was not enough, so Jesus provided the following parable or story. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ Jesus uses a widow to make His point for a widow is among the least powerful in Jewish culture He does not name what or who her adversary is, only that she kept coming to the judge.
This implies she not only kept coming, but kept coming and coming and coming especially when we read what Jesus said next about the judge. 4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” Attack me? Almost all versions have some version of weary me or wear me out, but the EXB (Expanded Bible) has until she wears me out [or eventually come and punch me/blacken my eye]; the MSG has otherwise I’m going to end up beaten black-and-blue by her pounding; and the NABRE (New American Bible Revised Edition) has lest she finally come and strike me among a few others. I do not believe Jesus meant she would literally attack the judge in any way, but her perseverance and persistence were like an attack that was wearing the judge down.
Jesus concluded with, 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?”
To ensure we don’t get the wrong idea about this, consider the following remarks by David Guzik with which I fully concur, The woman had to overcome the judge’s reluctance to help. We often feel that we must do the same when we pray – use our persistence to overcome God’s reluctance. This misses the point of the parable entirely. Jesus did not say that men always ought to pray and not lose heart because God is reluctant, but because He isn’t, and that is our encouragement to prayer. Sometimes it does seem to us that God is reluctant to answer our prayers. Yet the delays in prayer are not needed to change God, but to change us. Persistence in prayer brings a transforming element into our lives, building into us the character of God Himself. It is a way that God builds into us a heart that cares about things the same way He does.
Bottom Line: Don’t stop praying for God is always listening and prayer changes us in ways that pleases God.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Help me to pray every day, even hourly and to always know You are indeed listening and if my prayers are to be answered, they will be answered when You decide it is best, not I. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton