The Parable of the Persistent Widow

Growing up in church, there are several Bible stories you get used to hearing over and over again.  As a child, it’s usually Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors, and so on.  As a teenager, it’s generally lessons about obeying authority, modesty, and relationship advice.  Moving into  young adulthood, we’re generally exposed to the rest of the Bible.  Believe it or not, there are actually many parts of the Bible that are still foreign to me, and may be to you as well.

I always find myself surprised when I hear a parable I don’t recognize–not that I feel like I know the Bible in its entirety.  However, the parables are usually prime picking for good lessons, so they’re generally pretty well-known.  I ran into one the other day when I was doing my morning devotional that really spoke to me. Now I’d like to share it so it can speak to you too!

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

Jesus Tells the Parable of the Persistent Widow
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.  He said, “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men.  And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

For some time he refused.  But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!'”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.  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?  I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.  However, when the Son of Man comes will he find faith on earth?”

Luke 18:1-8

Perhaps you are familiar with that particular parable, but I wasn’t.  I also wasn’t raised with the mindset that you pester someone until you get what you want.  I was raised with a more “southern charm” set of manners.  Don’t backtalk, always say please and thank you, and if you ask a question once, you don’t keep asking because that will result in a punishment because it’s just rude.  But the point Jesus makes is very clear.

Jesus wants us to pester the Father. 

Be persistent. Carry on. Ask repeatedly. Insist on being heard.  Pretty much the opposite of the general manners I grew up with.

Honestly, this one has proven difficult for me.  The idea of continuing to petition God the Father day and night makes me uncomfortable.  All of my good manners say, ask once and leave it.  Maybe ask twice if it seems really important, but more than that is just rude.  But Jesus clearly says…

“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?  I tell you, he will see that they get justice and quickly.”

The words are clear. We are to petition the Lord and he will see that justice is served quickly.

Will you join me in throwing manners out the window and getting down to the business of being open and real with God? 

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  • Terri Grothe

    so true. There is still so much in the bible that I have not heard and I grew up in a christian home, it is sad that I can say that but it is true

  • Alice

    I love this parable. It reminds me not to feel guilty for repeating myself in my prayers.

  • Amanda | Maple Alps

    What an encouraging parable! It’s always been one of my favorites 🙂

  • erin

    This is a great reminder that while we’re not supposed to be repetitive and drone on in prayer, we ARE supposed to be persistent, faithful, and believe that He hears us. I every so often find myself saying to God, “remember me.”

  • Andrea

    God wants us to be like that persistent widow and not to give up!

  • Tara

    I love this parable. It is always a comfort to me. God is going to answer our prayers!

  • LauraOinAK

    Such a wonderful parable this is often overlooked. God may want the best for us, but I don’t think he wants us to not petition him for something. Although I think sometimes in our persistent prayers we become open to seeing the path God has laid out rather than our own.

  • Andrea

    I think the big message there is to never give up – to be persistent!