Jesus And The Widow And The Unjust Judge Parable

By Harrison Woodard

And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.

And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? — Luke 18:6-8 <KJV>



Based on Luke 18:1-8

Jesus was discussing what would happen during the End Times, and the events surrounding his return. He then told them a parable.

John Everett Millais- Parable of the Unjust Judge

“Avenge me of my adversary!”

There was a certain city that had a judge that had no fear of God, or man. In this same city, there was a widow that came continually before this judge demanding justice.

Time after time she would appear before him, “Avenge me of my adversary!”

The judge tried to ignore the woman. She had no political power, no wealth to bribe or influence him, and there was nothing to gain by granting her justice.

But still the widow kept coming, “Give me justice!”

The continued cries for justice were at first amusing. He wondered, “Who does she think she is? Will she ever give up?”

“Grant me justice against my enemy!” demanded the widow.

Her persistence finally pushed the judge to his limit. He could no longer deal with her continual pleas for justice. At long last, he granted her request and gave her what she demanded.

And then Jesus said, “Learn from the evil judge. Even he, a godless and evil man, finally gave justice. Will not God grant justice to His people that cry out to Him? Yes, He will grant them justice speedily!”

And then Jesus asked, “But when I, the Son of Man, return, how many will I find who have faith?”



Some Things To Think About

This is sometimes referred to as the parable of the importunate widow, which is an accurate description. This means a persistence to the point of annoyance, or begging urgently, or troublesome nagging. With that definition in mind, it should raise a flag of caution to Believers about how this parable applies to your life. The idea that God wants you to keep begging Him to the point of annoyance is contradicted by numerous verses throughout the Bible. In fact, in this very parable, Jesus makes it clear that God will grant justice speedily. But let’s explore this type of behavior a little more. If you think you can move God more, or faster, by “pestering” prayer, you are relying on works, not faith. It is a form of pride to think that way. And multiple times God tells you that He is against pride. Peter tells you to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and He will exalt you. Cast ALL your cares and worries on Jesus because he loves you. Giving everything to Jesus is humility. It is saying that you trust Him. It is obeying his command not to worry about things, and entering the rest that his sacrifice purchased for you. Be anxious for NOTHING! Tell God what you need (according to His Word) and thank Him for it. God’s Peace will guard your heart and mind. As God told Paul when he kept praying for the demonic messenger to be removed, “My Grace is sufficient.” In other words, Grace was God’s power, and with that, Paul would overcome anything. Grace, or God’s Favor, is more than enough for any situation or need. Get rid of the pride that thinks you have to figure it out, worry it to death, or continually cast out anxious prayers. Let God be God. He knows what you need. You will never catch Him off guard, or unprepared. He loves you so much that he gave Jesus, a priceless treasure, to redeem you. Get an ever increasing revelation of God’s love, and cast down any thought or imagination that contradicts God’s Word. The Word assures you numerous times to ask and you will receive. God loves you and is IN you. You can boldly and confidently enter the throne room of Grace just to say “Hi!” Draw close to God and He will draw close to you. (Proverbs 16:17-19, Matthew 6:5-8, 6:25-34, John 15:4-8, 2 Corinthians 12:8-10, Galatians 2:19-21, Ephesians 2:4-10, Philippians 4:4-7, Hebrews 4:14-16, James 4:5-8, 1 Peter 5:5-7, 1 John 5:13-15)

Another clue that this parable may not be intended for Believers is the audience and context. Aside from Luke’s introductory remarks about prayer, this was a cry for justice, or vengeance. At the end of the parable, Jesus asks if he will find faith when he returns, which also seems out of place. But when you consider the question and the parable in light of Luke 17, it seems clearer that this was a continuation of the End Times discussion – remember chapters and verses were added much later. In light of Jesus’ discussion about his return in Luke 17, the question about finding faith makes more sense. The plea of the woman for justice, is more applicable when discussing the coming judgment during the Tribulation and at Jesus’ 2nd Advent. The fact that Jesus was discussing this with a Jewish audience seems to further confirm the link. There are also several prophetic passages that condemn Israel’s leaders for taking bribes, injustice, and refusing to defend widows. It would seem Jesus was thinking of these passages while he taught about the widow and the unjust judge. What can a Christian gain from this parable? That God grants justice speedily. But praise God, there is now NO condemnation to those that believe in Jesus. You have been redeemed from the curse. Believers enjoy God’s Grace, and will not endure His wrath and judgment. That is Good News! Also, prayer is a Blessing, and spiritual growth comes from a continual fellowship with your Heavenly Father and His Word. Never faint, or give up on this relationship. And most importantly, never identify yourself with the widow, or God with an unjust judge. Jesus paid too high of a price for you to think you have to grovel and beg God to get results. You are His precious child and He loves you. (Isaiah 1:21-28, 55:10-12, Psalm 23, 32:1-2, 91:9-16, Matthew 7:7-11, John 16:5-11, 17:20-23, Romans 8:1-4, 10:1-4, Galatians 3:9-14, Ephesians 5:25-30, 1 Thessalonians 5:4-9, Hebrews 11:6, 1 Peter 1:18-19, see also my post – God Is Not The Unjust Judge And You Are Not The Widow)

Luke starts the passage by saying people should always pray and never give up. That is excellent advice. Maintain a regular and continual prayer life, and make it a priority. Don’t make God the “red phone” that is only picked up in emergencies. Practice being in His presence throughout the day. Read the Bible, confess Scripture, meditate verses and passages, and let God reveal how they apply to your life. Time spent with the Word is time spent with Jesus. It builds your faith and reveals His Will. God rewards the diligent, and those that are thirsty for Him get filled. Jesus spent long hours in fellowship with His Father and was prepared for whatever came his way. What makes any Christian believe that they can rattle off the Lord’s Prayer on Sunday, and be fully prepared for the whole week? Get up an hour early every day and get in God’s presence. Just like your body needs breakfast, your spirit and mind need a healthy dose of Love and Wisdom to get through the day. Lift up your family, friends, employer, pastor, and those in authority. Intercession activates the Law of Sowing and Reaping on your behalf, and the Law of Love. It is human nature to be selfish, but you are called to Love God with all your heart, and others as you love yourself. Praying for others takes the focus off yourself, and puts it on God, The Source. When you trust God for your own needs, you will be free to spend much more time in fellowship with your Father, as well as interceding for others as He directs. The majority of prayer time should be fellowship and praise anyway, not just a continual list of things you want – many of which are already promised to you. Don’t behave like a cowering slave or a downtrodden widow, instead approach God’s Throne with joy and thankfulness as His precious child, sharing everything that belongs to you through Jesus. (Deuteronomy 4:29, Joshua 1:5-9, Psalm 1:1-3, 42:1-2, 119:1-176, 143:5-10, Proverbs 2:1-11, Isaiah 26:7-9, 44:1-4, Jeremiah 33:3, Matthew 5:43-48, Luke 6:37-38, John 6:35-38, 14:15-23, Romans 8:14-17, Ephesians 3:14-21, 6:18, 1 Timothy 2:1-4, Revelation 21:6-8)



Faith Building Exercise

Faith comes by continually hearing God’s Word. When you confess (speak) God’s Word out loud you are planting God’s incorruptible seed in your heart (spirit). In time, God’s Word will take root in your spirit (heart) and produce a plentiful harvest of all God’s blessings and promises in your life.

Confess these out loud every day until you believe them in your spirit. They will build your faith. Look up these verses and read them as they appear in your Bible. You can always trust God’s Word because He cannot lie.


I am righteous, and I rejoice and am glad in God’s presence. I am filled with joy and sing to God, and sing praises to His name. His name is the Lord, I rejoice in His presence. He is a Father to the fatherless, and a protector of widows. His dwelling is Holy. God places the solitary in families, and gives the desolate a home; He leads the prisoners out to prosperity, but the rebellious live in a parched land.
(Psalm 68:3-6)

God rescues me because I love Him. When I call on Him, He answers. He is with me in trouble. He rescues and honors me. He satisfies me with long life and His Salvation.
(Psalm 91:14-16)

My eyes see the downfall of my enemies; my ears hear the defeat of my adversaries.  I am righteous and flourish like a Palm Tree, stately, upright, and fruitful. I grow majestic, stable, durable, and incorruptible like a Cedar in Lebanon, planted in the Lord’s House and flourishing in the courts of my God. Even in old age I will still produce an abundance of good fruit, and remain young and healthy. I declare the Lord is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in Him!
(Psalm 92:11-15)

I pray to my Father in secret and He rewards me openly. I do not use vain repitions or pray for show. I know my Father knows exactly what I need. Therefore, I do not worry about anything. I make His Kingdom my primary concern and He gives me abundantly all I need.
(Matthew 6:5-8, 6:31-34)

God’s Gracious Favor is all I need. His power is most effective when I am weak. Even when I am weak in natural strength, I am strong by God’s Grace.
(2 Corinthians 12:8-10)

I am strengthened with God’s Glorious Power. I have the patience I need to endure. I am filled with joy. I always thank my Father who made it possible for me to share the inheritance of those who live in the Light. I was rescued from the darkness and placed into the Kingdom of God’s Son. God purchased my freedom with Jesus’ precious blood and has forgiven all my sins.
(Colossians 1:11-14)

I was redeemed from my old life not with perishable things such as silver and gold. Instead, I was redeemed with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, like a lamb without spot or blemish.
(1 Peter 1:18-19)

I humble myself under the mighty hand of God. In due time he will lift me up and honor me. I cast all my cares, worries and concerns on Jesus, for he cares for me.
(1 Peter 5:6-7)

I belong to the truth and set my heart at rest in His presence. God is greater than my heart, and He knows everything. My heart does not condemn me, and I have confidence before God. And I receive from Him anything I ask, because I keep his commands and do what pleases Him. I believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love others as He commanded me. I keep God’s commands and live in Him, and He in me. And this is how I know that He lives in me. I know it by the Spirit He gave me.
(1 John 3:19-23)

I believe in the name of the Son of God and have eternal life. I approach God with confidence knowing that if I ask anything according to His will, He hears me. And if I know that He hears me—whatever I ask—I know that I have what I asked of Him.
(1 John 5:13-15)



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