Parable of the unjust judge

Understanding the Parable Of The Unjust Judge to Boost Your Faith (Luke 18:1-8 Explained)

The Parable of the unjust judge (Luke 18:1-8 explained).

The parable of the unjust judge and the persistent widow is a well-known parable in the New Testament in Luke chapter 18 from verse 1 to 8. At the start of the passage, Jesus introduced the purpose of the parable, after which he narrates it and then ended with a rhetorical question.

However, there are lots of faith increasing lessons that can be learned from this parable, but that would require a level of understanding of the parable.

Therefore, in this article, we’ll delve deeper into the parable’s meaning and it’s significance.

Bible passage of the parable of the unjust judge.

This Parable is seen in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 18:1-8.

1. Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2. saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4. And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5. yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’” 6. Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8. I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

Luke 18 1-8 Explained Verse by Verse:

Verse 1:

The first verse of this chapter of Luke contains Jesus’ introduction and the purpose of his parable.

He begins by explaining the parable’s purpose, which is to teach his disciples the value of persistent prayer (praying without giving up) and that praying until something happens should be part of the culture of men.

Verse 2-3:

This verse introduces the unjust judge, and the persistent widow. Jesus said that the unjust judge has no respect for God or for people. For the widow, he said that she approached the judge to beg him to grant her justice against her adversary.

Verse 4-6:

In verse 4-6, the judge dismissed the widow’s plea and denied her justice, but that was for a while. But despite the judge’s initial refusal, the widow persisted in her quest for justice and continued to present her request to him.

The widow’s persistence continued to an extent that the judge admitted that her persistence is wearing him down. As a result, he granted the widow justice, not because he believes in justice or cares about her, but because he does not want to be worn down by her repeated requests.

Verse 7:

Here Jesus explains the parable, emphasizing the importance of persistent prayer.

According to the verse: “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?” By so, Jesus contrasts the unjust judge in the parable with God, who is both just and merciful.

He emphasizes that if an unjust judge will eventually grant a widow’s request just because she was persistent, how much more will God, who is both just and merciful, hear the prayers of his elects and bring about justice?

The term “the elects” refers to those who have placed their faith in Jesus and are now a part of God’s kingdom. As they pray to Him day and night, Jesus assures that God will surely bring about justice for them.

This verse also implies that justice may not be served immediately, and that God may appear to be slow to respond to our prayers at times. However, Jesus emphasizes the importance of not losing heart or giving up on our prayers. Instead, we are to continue to cry out to God at all hours of the day and night, knowing that He who made ears hears us and will surely bring justice in His time.

Verse 8:

Jesus asks at the end of the parable of the unjust judge and the widow, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” This profound question encourages us to reflect upon our own faith and dedication to prayer.

By asking this question, Jesus prompts us to examine the depth and sincerity of our faith, and to ensure that we remain steadfast in our commitment to Him, even in the face of adversity and in a world that frequently appears to reject God. The question calls us to examine our own faith and determine whether we are truly committed to prayer and trusting in God’s timing and justice.

So, this question of Jesus is not whether faith will disappear entirely before His return, but rather a rhetorical device used to underscore the significance of perseverance and faith in prayer.

Comparisons in the parable of the persistent widow:

Parable of the unjust judge (Luke 18 1-8 explained)

Are there, in this parable of the unjust judge, attributes that the judge has in common with God and this widow with us Christians? Yes!

Here is the comparison between the parable and reality.

The unjust judge compared to God.

Both are in positions of authority:

The unjust judge, like God, has the power to bring about justice for the citizens of his city. He is in a position of power; therefore, has the ability to expel oppressors and offer deliverance and peace to the people in his area.

The widow compared to the elect of God.

Both the widow In the parable of the unjust judge and God’s elects have these in common:

  • Both have adversaries.
  • Both have a judge to petition.
  • As the widow was poor and needy, so are Christians poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3)

The contrast in the parable of the persistent widow.

Contrasts between God and the unjust judge.

We must keep in mind that Jesus did not identify His Father, the “Hearer of Prayer,” with this judge in the parable of the unjust judge in any sense.

The disparities between the unjust judge and God are clear and visible even to the blind. Jesus likened God not to a fair man, but to a wicked man to emphasize the gigantic difference between them, though they are both in positions of authority as seen in the above comparison.

What makes them so different from each other?

1. God is Just, but the judge is unjust:

There is no wickedness at all in God, who is entirely just. He is impartial and impervious to influence. But the judge in the parable was described as one who doesn’t fear God and regards no man.

Let’s consider the following about this judge:

He is a man. Men are sinners by nature (Genetics 6:5).

Secondly, he has no respect for God whatsoever. A man like that would be incredibly evil. He won’t have any conscience left. He must therefore be morally reprehensible because he will be his own Lord.

Thirdly, he holds a position of authority or supremacy. It is a common belief that power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. How unfair is this man going to be? He must be awful.

Can you now picture the kind of person Jesus was describing to whom the poor widow petitioned?

2. God is omnipotent, but the judge is not:

God is the judge of all the earth (Genesis 18:25). He is not limited in power. He is all-powerful. Furthermore, he has no equal. God created everything, even our adversary. All power belongs to Him and all things are under his control. There is nothing God can not do. God is in charge!

But for the judge in the parable, he is the judge of a city. He is not omnipotent and so not reliable. What if the adversary was from another city and was more powerful than he was?

3. God is omniscient, but the judge is not:

God is all-knowing. He knows us and what our needs are (Matthew 6:32). He knows our weaknesses, limitations, and even our adversaries. Not only that, but he knows us even by the number of hairs on our heads.

But the judge in the parable is not omniscient. I suppose that he didn’t know the widow and that she was a stranger to him.

4. God is omnibenevolent, but the judge is not:

God is too good (Psalms 86:5). Everything he does is good (James 1:17). God is all-loving. He is merciful. He is kind. There is no good thing lacking in God. God is willing to listen to petitions and has promised to answer.

"For everyone that asketh receiveth..." Matthew 7:8

5. God’s intention is clear, but the judge’s intention is not clear.

It is clear that God conflicts with our adversary while the judge in the parable may have had a relationship with the widow’s adversary, which would have been a complication. He might also be bribed. His intentions towards the widow’s adversary were unclear.

Contrasts between Us (the elect of God) and the Widow

1. The Widow was a stranger, but we are not:

The Widow was not related to the judge in any way. She was apparently a perfect stranger to that unjust judge. But we are the elect of God. He chose us and we are his children. He knows us. We are not strangers to him.

Although he is the Judge of all the earth, he is also our lovely Father.

2. The Widow wasn’t invited, but we are:

The widow came uninvited. The judge never invited nor wanted the woman to come to him.

What about us? Is this the same for us? Absolutely not! God has invited us, his children, to come to him. He has clearly invited us to come in times of need with boldness and not with fear. This is because Him that is on the throne is also our Father.

Hebrews 4:16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it. (NLT)

Today’s Significance of the Passage:

The message of Jesus’ parable of the unjust judge and the persistent widow is as applicable today as it was then. Many Christians struggle with persistence in prayer, especially when their prayers appear to be unanswered.

However, this parable reminds us to be faithful and persistent in our prayers, even when we face obstacles. The parable inspires us to continue praying and not give up. So, the widow’s persistence in seeking justice should serve as a powerful reminder to you that you should never give up on your prayers, even when nothing appears to be happening.

Furthermore, in our culture that values instant gratification, the parable’s reminder to trust in God’s timing is critical. It teaches us patience and trust in God’s timing, even when we don’t see the desired results. God’s justice may appear to be delayed or denied, but we can have faith that God is just and will bring justice in His time.

Read also: men ought always to pray.


Finally, the parable of the unjust judge and the persistent widow teaches us important lessons about prayer perseverance, trust in God’s justice, and faith in God’s timing.

It reminds us to pray and not give up, to believe in God even when justice does not appear to be served, and to be patient while trusting in God’s timing.

This parable is still applicable today, reminding Christians to be faithful and persistent in prayer even when faced with adversity. So, let us keep crying out to God at all hours of the day and night, knowing that He hears us and will bring justice in His time.

God’s mercy!

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