Perhaps you’ve scratched your head when your friend sees a monster truck and has said, “Wow! That’s just like my VW Beetle.” We’re conditioned to see similarities rather than differences, used to comparing rather than contrasting. That’s why we have trouble with some of Jesus’ parables. No, Jesus is not encouraging us to be dishonest like the manager who cut his boss’ client’s bills just before he was fired. And in the parable that begins Luke 18, Jesus is not telling us that God is an unjust judge or that we are to be a pesky mosquito that buzzes continually in God’s ear for Him to even consider listening to our prayers.
I. Luke 18:1-8. If we start by seeking for the differences between the judge and God in this parable, then it makes more sense. Both are positions of authority, but the judge is clearly seeking his own interests while God loves us unconditionally–even sending His Son to die on the cross for us. The point of the parable is that even if this unjust judge will give in to a widow with such persistence, then how much more will a good and caring God give to His children whom He loves?
II. John 17:1-23. While understanding God’s character so much better in this parable, don’t lose sight of the responsibility Jesus says we have to be persistent, purposeful, and precise in prayer. So often our prayers are haphazard and vague. Though names and situations are mentioned before our worship services begin, we pray in general often for the sick and struggling … and then they are forgotten until next Sunday. Modeling how we in the flesh should pray, Jesus prayed in these ways.
III. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Jesus contrasts the judge with God, but He also contrasts the widow with us. The last line of the parable in Luke 18:8 asks if the Son of Man will find faith on the earth when He returns. It took faith for the widow to be so persistent in her supplication. So, a lack of persistence in prayer would indicate a lack of faith on our part. We gain a better prayer life by having greater faith, and we gain greater faith by praying about it.
The more we trust the good and loving Judge, the more we will want to speak with Him. Try it. He already knows what you need before you ask Him, and He has invited you to His throne to ask Him. Do you have enough faith to be persistent in prayer?