Instructions on the coming of the Son of Man (17:22-37)
The following parable on prayer (18:9-14)
In that day judges traveled around and held court in tents. They set their own agendas and about the only way to have your court case heard was to bribe one of the attendants to bring your case to the attention of the judge. This widow had a couple things working against her. She was a woman, and women were low on the social ladder. She also had no money to bribe the attendants, so her case was not heard.
What is the relationship between praying and losing heart? I think this teaches that if we do not pray we will give up.
Therefore the problem is: How can we keep praying and not lose heart?
Logical: What is the cause of answered prayer? What are two reasons why people give up too soon?
He did not fear God
He did not respect men
This man is the exact opposite of what we know to be the two greatest commandments - loving God and loving your neighbor.
She is persistent. Imperfect tense in Greek. She keeps on coming.
She just wants justice. She is not asking for the advantage. She is just asking for justice. We all want justice. We all want life to be fair. I can’t count the number of times my daughter says that something is not fair when she sees her brother get a bigger pile of potato chips, a bigger piece of cake, one more of whatever.... It is an inborn desire for things to be fair.
The judge does not answer because he cares about God, justice or the woman. Jesus is using boxing imagery here for wearing a person down by hitting him under the eye. The judge is not concerned with a knockout, but she is wearing him down. He answers because she is annoying him.
What is the point of the question at the end of verse 8? “... when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?
Persistent prayer is the demonstration of faith in God who, while at times may delay His answers, will always act decisively and justly with respect to His people.
God is just. The second advent will bring justice. Our part is to wait in faith for Him to deal with the world in justice.
It is important to understand that this parable is one of contrasts. If you don’t you will think God must be pestered, argued with and bribed in order to get your prayers answered. The parable is not teaching that. God wants to answer the prayers of his children.
We lose heart because we don’t understand God’s timing or purpose. We ask questions like, “When... or Why now.... or How could you....? We challenge the justice and goodness of God.
This parable deals with two issues: God’s character and God’s chronology.
Persistent prayer is the demonstration of faith in the character of God’s attributes and the chronology of his actions.
This parable teaches that the only legitimate reason to stop praying for something is the return of Christ. (vs. 8) It says, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” The demonstration of that faith is persistent prayer. When you stop believing a prayer will be answered, you stop praying. You have given up hope. You have no faith.
What items have dropped off your prayer list that you need to put back on?
God is a loving father who wants His children to keep coming to Him. If you are a parent, you should be able to identify with that.
A Comparison of events in Matthew and Luke show much similarity in sequence and give a probable time when the parable was taught.