The Persistent Widow – Luke 18

The parable in verses 1-8 is also known as the parable of the unjust judge. The chapter begins with Luke telling us what it means. He said it was “a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” A woman kept coming to a judge that “neither feared God nor respected man” trying to get justice for a wrong someone had done to her. The judge had no sympathy for her, nor did he care about any sort of justice in the matter. But he finally gave in and gave her the justice she deserved because of her persistence.

English: Illustration of the Parable of the Un...

English: Illustration of the Parable of the Unjust Judge from the New Testament Gospel of Luke (Luke 18:1-9) by John Everett Millais for The Parables of Our Lord (1863) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The ESV says that the judge had said to himself “I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.” The NASB and others say “lest she wear me out.” According to Everett Harrison (Harrison, Everett F., Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Moody Press, Chicago 1962), it means literally, “lest she give me a black eye.” This is not to say that he is afraid of the woman doing him physical harm. It is a euphemism for damaging one’s reputation.

Jesus is not here comparing this judge to God, but rather making a contrast. The Lord indeed does care about justice and protection for His children. Jesus says that he will provide it swiftly. But God’s time is not our time. These prayers are answered according to God’s plan and His infinite wisdom. As Luke says, we must remain persistent in prayer so that we do not lose heart. Prayer is not the magic vending machine button we press for instant gratification. But it gives us many other benefits for our souls while we await the fulfillment of God’s will.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at  

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