The Parable of the Persistent Widow

Parable of the Persistent Widow and Unjust Judge

The Parable of the Persistent Widow is sometimes referred to as the Parable of the Unjust Judge. This parable is found in the New Testament of the Bible, in the book of Luke 18:1-8. In the parable, a widow pleads repeatedly to an unjust judge for mercy against her adversary until the judge finally relents because he’s fearful she’ll attack him if he doesn’t.

Parable of the Persistent Widow face

Moral lesson of the Parable of the Widow and the Unjust Judge

The moral lesson of the Parable of the Persistent Widow and the Unjust Judge is that God requests us to come to Him with our wants and needs without fear of being a nuisance. Our just God is the ultimate judge and He longs for us to come to him persistently so he can answer us with swift justice.

Parable of the Persistent Widow Meaning

The meaning of the Parable of the Persistent Widow and the Unjust Judge is that just as the widow cried out to the unjust judge for justice against her enemy, God asks for His people to call out to Him for His mercy and justice. Even the unjust judge relented to the woman’s requests, so how much more readily and eagerly will our loving and merciful God give His people justice when they ask persistently for it? Come to God repeatedly with your requests. He will never tire of you.

Parable of the Unjust Judge Explained:

The Parable of the Unjust Judge shows that even an unjust judge who didn’t fear God or care what people thought relented to help the persistent widow against her adversary. In this case, the judge relented because he wanted to get the widow to stop pestering him and because he was afraid she would attack him if he didn’t give her justice. She wore him down and he wanted her to go away. So if an unjust judge will give justice, imagine how much more readily we can get justice from our loving and merciful God when we ask Him persistently.

Parable of the Persistent Widow Lessons

Every parable Jesus told was for a specific purpose to His original audience, but they each still have important life lessons for us today. Following are four lessons from the Parable of the Persisten Widow that apply to all God’s children – yesterday, today, and always.

1. Always Pray and Don’t Give Up

Most of the parables of Jesus have room for interpretation because sometimes their meaning and purpose aren’t clear to readers. However, in the case of the Parable of the Persistent Widow and Unjust Judge, we are given the message of the parable directly. In Luke 18:1, we are told: Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.  This is the heart of the message.

2. Our Earnest Prayers Are Pleasing to God

God wants us to come to Him. He wants to help us by showing us swift mercy and justice, as a loving Father does. He wants us to pray in earnest. But what does that mean? Praying in earnest is sincere, deliberate, and intense. It means truly pouring your heart into the prayers and seeking closeness to God while you do it. It’s the difference between pouring your heart out to a loving Father for help and mercy versus demanding your wishes be granted by a genie in a bottle. In the first case, your heart, mind, and soul are seeking relationship with God. This is praying in earnest. In the second case, the only thing you care about is getting your wishes granted.

3. Justice and Mercy Are Meant to Increase Your Faith

God enjoys providing for HIs children. His desire is that His gifts of mercy and justice help increase our faith. But do they? In what state will Jesus find your heart when He returns? Do you see, acknowledge, and appreciate the mercy and justice you’ve been shown? Do you recognize them as God’s work in your life and on your behalf? When we see God actively working in our lives by answering our persistent prayers and turning wrong things right, He’s giving us all the assurance we need of His existence, His love, and His power. Keep your eyes, ears, and heart open to God working in your life and let every example of His presence draw you closer to Him so that when the Son of Man comes, He will find faith on the earth.

4. God Won’t Think You’re Importunate

Sometimes the Parable of the Persistent Widow is referred to as the Parable of the Importunate Widow. The word ‘importunate’ includes an important distinction from persistence. Importunate is persistence but to the point of annoyance or intrusion. The widow continually pleading with the unjust judge wore him down until he became fearful she’d harm him if he didn’t give her justice. By contrast, God looks forward to our coming to Him day and night with our prayers and requests. He never tires of us and He never feels that we’re pestering Him. He takes delight in His children and He wants to hear from us – the more the better.

The Parable of the Persistent Widow, Luke 18:1-8

The Parable of the Persistent Widow is included in only one of the four Gospels in the Bible – in the book of Luke, Chapter 18 verses 1-8. This parable is also referred to as The Parable of the Unjust Judge and the Parable of the Importunate Widow. The Parable of the Persistent Widow, listed below, uses the NIV Bible translation and is taken from Biblegateway.com.

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

18 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 what people thought. 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 what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

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 the earth?”

Parable of the Importunate Widow

The Parable of the Persistent Widow is sometimes referred to as the Parable of the Importunate Widow. If you aren’t familiar with the word ‘importunate’, as I wasn’t, it adds a nice nuance to the term ‘persistent’. Importunate is persistent – but in an irritating or annoying way. In the parable, the unjust judge gives in to the woman’s pleas because she is bothering him to the point that he’ll do whatever it takes to make her go away.

By comparison, God will bring justice quickly to those who cry out to him with persistence – day and night. The question is whether this justice will result in further belief and faith as it’s intended to do.

Parable of the Importunate Widow and Unjust Judge Commentary

The Parable of the Persistent (Importunate) Widow Commentary is found at Bible Study Tools.com. This link will lead you to the free Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, but you can find other Biblical commentaries HERE. They include free and paid versions. I have referred to Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary for this post.

More Parables!

Do you love the parables as much as I do? You may enjoy reading life lessons on these others, these activities for adults and children, or this list of Parables and Meanings:

Photo from Image by Michael from Pixabay Blank face

Share the love!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top