For a long time, I interpreted the judge in one of Jesus’ New Testament parables as a figure representing God. I even had a family member whose instruction to me was, “Worry the Judge!” when I would complain to him about some disturbing aspect of my life. However, now upon closer examination of the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 18, Verses 1-18, I see that the judge in this story is unjust. And that certainly is not a characteristic of the God I worship, pray to, and attempt to live for.
The gist of the lesson Jesus is teaching is that if a judge who didn’t fear God and wasn’t concerned about how people perceived him could be worn down by the persistent pleadings of a widow, how much more does the God who is Ultimate Justice, Ultimate Love, and Ultimate Grace hear our prayers and desire to answer them to our benefit. As Psalm 68, Verse 5 says, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”
My family member was right to tell me to be persistent in my prayers to God. Not to let myself feel defeated. Not to lose hope. Not to quit praying even if I were not seeing what I thought of as answered prayers.
Keep in mind that a widow in New Testament times, some two thousand plus years ago, was a marginalized human being. Her society expected that a close male relative would look after her and act in her behalf upon the death of her husband. The widow in our story, for whatever reasons, had no male relative to be her advocate. Yet she showed herself to be a strong relentless woman. And she determined to get justice from her adversaries.
If you would like to read and hear The Parable of the Persistent Widow (Luke, Chapter 18, Verses 1-18) in your heart language or a language you are studying, you may go to www.Bible.com where you will find multiple languages and multiple versions of The Holy Bible.
Words of Encouragement and Spiritual Instruction
Connie Carlisle Polley, 2022
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