October 25, 2012

A Persistent Plea

Luke 18:1-8

“There was a widow … who kept coming to [the judge] with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’”
—Luke 18:3


Widows were often vulnerable in the ancient world, with very few rights, no one to advocate for them, and no one to care for them in their old age. The judge in today’s story wielded power and authority that was supposed to dispense justice for all. But the judge did not honor God or human opinion. Although it felt like a hopeless situation, the widow persisted each day with the same request for justice. Finally, the judge became so tired of her pleading that he decided her case.

Jesus told this parable to show his followers that “they should always pray and not give up.” Jesus tells this story to teach us about God. If a judge like the one in the parable gives way to the pleas of a helpless widow, how much more will God listen to the prayers of his people and bring about their deliverance! God will surely come to the aid of those who cry out to him. He cares deeply for the helpless, the vulnerable, and the needy.

Correspondingly, we must be persistent in prayer. If a good-for-nothing judge can be swayed by persistent pleading, we can be certain that God will respond to our constant prayers. Further, we can be sure that at Christ’s coming, he will right every wrong and cure every injustice. So let’s pray each day that Christ will return soon and make things right.

Lord Jesus, in place of our often-fickle efforts of random prayer, give us a resolute determination to persevere in prayer. Grant us new habits and renewed enthusiasm. Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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