The Importunate Widow
Luke 18:2-7 “Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
Yet because this widow trouble the me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?”
Here we hear the story of a widow, a Jewish widow before a Roman judge. (Jewish judges were usually in threes)
He would not care about her, for he thought she could do him no damage, for she had no money, or influence.
But she kept coming back, she was often in his court.
“Avenge me of my adversary”, is not a request for punishment of her enemy; but for a court appointed decree that would give her protection from her adversary.
To keep him from harming her, like a restraining order today.
Now he feared not God, nor regarded man; so anything he did, he did out of personal motives.
Her cry of, “Avenge me of my adversary”, he ignored, till he thought that she might ruin his reputation, because she was often in his court.
He, therefore, looked for a way to get rid of her; because she “weary me”. In the Greek, this means that she gives him a “black eye”. She will ruin his reputation, make him stand out to those in authority. She must be gotten rid of, before people get the wrong idea about this judge.
He cared for nothin but himself. Yet from purely self-involved motives he thought it best to give her the restraining order. Exactly what she asked for.
Jesus says that prayer is to be like this. We are to come to God our Father with the same importunate prayer as this widow came to this unjust judge.
For this parable was to teach his disciples about prayer.
Luke 18:1 “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;”
We are not to give up on God, which is what “faint” means. After all the widow came to an unjust judge; but we come to our Heavenly Father, which for Christ’s sake hears our trouble and will “avenge his own elect.”