Jesus was a man of prayer and parables. He often retreated from the crowds and his disciples to commune with his heavenly Father. He taught his followers with parables or “comparisons” using examples from everyday life in Palestine. A parable (para = “alongside,” plus ballo = ”to throw”) is a story, metaphor, riddle, or maxim that functions as a kind of comparison or an example “thrown alongside.”
In Luke 18 we encounter one of Jesus’ parables about an unjust judge and a widow that entreats the judge for justice in some kind of dispute. The judge is described as “caring neither about God or his neighbors.” He has neither sympathy nor empathy for the suffering widow. But she wears him out with her constant clamoring for justice. Finally, he grants her request.
Jesus told the parable so his followers might pray and not lose heart. Are there prayers you have ceased praying because you have given up? Do you doubt that God really cares about your problems and grievances? Is your zeal for justice alive and well or fading away? This week we will study Luke’s Jesus story and learn about prayer as rebellion against the status quo that resists God’s kingdom.
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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 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.’
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!’”
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?