14 The Unjust Judge

Once again we have a little background to the parable. What is Jesus trying to teach to the people?

  • Luke 18:1
    And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.
  • Jesus is trying to teach about prayer.
  • But what about prayer? That we should always pray and not faint or get weary in praying.

Why is this parable relevant and important for us to study today?

  • Jesus was teaching something very important in the previous chapter just before He shared this parable.
  • Luke 17:26-30
    26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
  • In the previous chapter Jesus was talking about the last days. He spoke about the days of Noah and Lot and how the end times would be like theirs.
  • What is interesting is that Noah’s days was just like any normal day. They were eating and drinking and getting married. Nothing unusual was taking place.
  • Same with Lot’s days as well. How did the Bible describe it? They ate and drank, they bought and sold, and they planted and built houses. It was just a normal day.
  • But sudden destruction came upon many in both of their times. The flood of water swept majority of the people away in Noah’s day and fire from heaven came down and destroyed many in Lot’s day.
  • Jesus is implying that if we wish to be ready for the end times, if we want to discern the times that we are living in and be ready for Jesus’ second coming and not be surprised at it, then we need to learn to pray.
  • What about prayer? To always pray and not faint – to not get weary in praying.

So with this understanding, let’s get into the parable.

  • Luke 18:2-5
    2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
  • So there are just 2 characters in this parable.
  • Who are they? A judge and a widow.

What do we understand about the judge?

  • He does not fear God. He is not a Christian.
  • Seems like he doesn’t care much for any man or woman. The Bible said that he did not regard man. He hears the plea of this widow woman yet does not want to answer.

Why does this widow come to the judge?

  • She wants to be avenged of her adversary. Something has happened and she wants to be vindicated of the wrong that has happened to her. She wants the person who sought harm on her or treated her unjustly to be punished.
  • However, it seems like the judge doesn’t care. He doesn’t care to take any action to help this poor widow.

Who does the judge and widow woman represent?

  • Let’s start with the obvious. Who does the woman represent?
    • Ephesians 5:25
      Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.
    • The woman represents God’s church in the last days. Hopefully she represents each of us.
  • How about the judge?
    • Romans 3:26
      To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
    • The judge represents God.

Now I know it can seem a bit confusing. Why would we say that this judge represents God? Well, let’s finish reading the rest of the parable.

  • Luke 18:6-8
    6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
  • Jesus makes a very clear parallel between the unjust judge and how God will answer us in the last days.
  • Yes, let’s get this clear. The judge is an unjust judge.
  • The only reason why he answers is because he is tired of the widow coming to see him every day and asking him for the same request every single day!
  • He was getting worn out about seeing her at his doorstep every time the office opened.
  • And so he gave her what she desired just to get her off his back so he could have some peace.

But we know that God is not an unjust judge. We know that He cares so much for us.

  • Psalms 8:4
    What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
  • We know that God does listen to our pleas.
    • Isaiah 1:18
      Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
    • God wants to reason with us. He wants us to bring our burdens to Him.
  • If this unjust judge was eventually willing to answer the request of this woman, how much more would God be willing to answer us who loves us so much? So this comparison is made to give us confidence in God and how He hears the cry of each of our hearts.
  • Jesus is trying to instil in each of us the confidence that we can have when we come and pray before God. God has promised that He will answer.
  • Hebrews 4:16
    Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
  • We can have boldness to ask. We don’t need to be shy and we don’t need to second guess God wondering if our prayers are heard or not.

What is the woman asking for again?

  • Luke 18:3
    And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
  • There was someone who was attacking her. She was asking for the judge to avenge her of her adversary.

Who does the adversary represent?

  • 1 Peter 5:8
    Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
  • The adversary is the devil.
  • So she is asking for vengeance, for avenging what the adversary has done to her.
  • She is asking for help to fight against the devil.
  • I know this is a silly question that we know the answer to already. But do you think that God will answer our cries for help to fight against the devil? Of course He will! I have no doubt!
  • We can go boldly to the throne of grace to always find help in time of need.
  • Those are the sorts of prayers that we can have 100% assurance that God will always answer. This is His promise right here in this parable.

But what does it mean to fight against the devil? To be avenged of our adversary? How does God fight for us?

  • Ephesians 6:14-18
    14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
  • It’s the armour of God. Being protected from the devil’s attacks and also using the Bible to fight.
  • Using the Bible to fight? How?
  • It’s using the word of God to give us victory and also sharing the word of God to others to save them from the shackles of the devil. It’s Jesus in the word.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:57
    But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

    • It is through the word of God that we know about Jesus who can give us that victory.
  • 1 John 5:4
    For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

    • Faith is the victory. And we that faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17).

According to the parable, in order for God to avenge His people, what must we do?

  • Luke 18:5
    Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
  • This widow was constantly coming to the judge everyday. She never ceased to come to the judge to ask for this one request. She was desperate, she was shameless. She really wanted to be avenged.
  • If we are to overcome the devil and all that he throws at us, we must learn to go to God every day.
    • Luke 18:7
      And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
    • 1 Thessalonians 5:17
      Pray without ceasing.
  • There must be a persistence in prayer that never wearies until we know that God grants us our request. We must learn to cry unto God day and night.
  • Many times we give up too easily. But does God want us to have victory over the devil?
    • 1 John 3:8
      He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
    • Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. Does he want us to have victory? Absolutely! That’s the whole reason that Jesus came to this earth, to overcome the devil and finally avenge us.
  • So when we pray and God does not answer straight away, let’s persist until He gives us the victory. For surely it is God’s will that He wants us to have victory over the devil. “I tell you that he will avenge them speedily,” Luke 18:8.

In conclusion to the parable, Jesus asks this question.

  • Luke 18:8
    I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
  • What does praying persistently and not giving up until our prayers are answered have anything to do with faith?
  • It takes faith to keep on praying even though you know it is right yet the prayer is not answered immediately. God has promised it in His word and even though it seems to have been delayed, it takes faith to keep praying and persisting.
  • In the days of Elijah God had stopped the rain for 3 ½ years. It was because of the wickedness of the people that He did this. But He came to Elijah.
    • 1 Kings 18:1
      And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.
    • He told Elijah that He is about to send rain again.
  • So Elijah obeys and shows himself to king Ahab, the wicked king. There is a big showdown between him and the false prophets of Baal. You can read the whole chapter of 1 Kings 18. It will give good background. Ultimately Elijah had the victory over the false prophets. God’s name was vindicated.
  • However, the rain is not come yet. So what does Elijah do?
    • 1 Kings 18:41-42
      41 And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. 42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees.
    • He is praying.
  • What happens?
    • 1 Kings 18:43
      And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing.
    • After the first time, there was no rain.
    • But wait, God was the One who told Elijah that He would send rain. Why didn’t it rain?
    • Let’s finish that verse and keep reading.
    • 1 Kings 18:43-44
      43 And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. 44 And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not.
    • Elijah had to pray seven times before the rain would come.
  • Sometimes we think that there is something special that he had to pray seven times. God does not want us to pray seven times only. You see, Elijah was willing to pray as many times as he needed to until the rain appeared.
  • Was this a trial of faith? Absolutely! When was the last time we saw Elijah pray?
    • 1 Kings 17:17-22
      17 And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. 18 And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? 19 And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. 20 And he cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? 21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again. 22 And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.
    • The last time Elijah prayed, he brought a dead boy back to life.
    • How many times did he have to pray for that to happen? Three times.
  • What is harder? To pray for rain, or to pray for the resurrection of a dead person?
    • I think 99% of the time, if not 100%, we would say that it is harder to resurrect a dead person.
  • So you can imagine Elijah, praying for the rain.
    • First time he prays and he sends his servant. He comes back – no rain. OK that’s fine. God isn’t answering straight away. I’ll pray again.
    • Second time, same thing. Same thoughts. I’ll just keep praying.
    • Third time, surely the Lord will answer this time. He sends his servant but still no rain. Elijah is probably thinking now, the last time I prayed three times, a dead person came back to life. Why still no rain? His faith is being tested at this time.
      • God promised He would send rain. Why no rain? You can see why Jesus asks this question that when He comes again for a second time, will He find faith on the earth.
    • Elijah persists to pray a fourth time. Still no rain! At this point, we would begin to doubt right?
    • Fifth time, sixth time. And only at the seventh time after Elijah prays that the rain comes.

God has given us promises in His word and assures us of its fulfilment if we meet its conditions. Promises such as Malachi 3:10, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” If we give our tithes, God promises to pour out blessing so much so that we won’t have enough room to receive it.

It takes faith to pray for the blessing until God fulfils it. And sometimes it is possible that we give up too easily because we grow weary or impatient of its fulfilment. It takes faith to hold on to God and expect Him to answer because faithful is He that promised who also will do it. But when the answer doesn’t come at the time we expect it, then it is that our faith and perseverance is tested as to whether we should continue praying for it or not.

So when Jesus comes for a second time, will He find faith on the earth? Will He find His children praying and persevering in prayer for the promised blessing. What is the greatest promised blessing that He wishes to grant us today?

Luke 11:13
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Let us pray until God pours out His Spirit on us in these last days. Let us not give up, nor waver, nor get weary. For surely, God desires to give us this greatest of all blessings today.