1 One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. 2 “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. 3 A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ 4 The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, 5 but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”
6 Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. 7 Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”
S - Scripture
7 Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?
O - Observation
The window wanted justice. Justice is a deserved punishment or reward. Justice isn't a major theme in the teachings of Jesus, but it is a major theme in the Old Testament. It is a theme the disciples would be familiar with.
The persistence of the widow stands out. But the unjust judge also had a favorable response to the widow. In this parable God is not the unjust judge, God is depicted as more compassionate and fair than the unjust judge.
A - Application
It is easy to default to persistence in prayer when reading this parable. That is an important application of this text and a wonderful lesson for the Christian life.
But, another important part of this parable is discovered by what the widow asked for: justice. Justice is God's idea. Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! -Amos 5:24
The widow asked for something consistent with God's character. God doesn't promise answered prayer for prayers that are not consistent with His character. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. -James 4:3
So, 1) persistence in prayer and 2) praying authentically to discover and reveal the character and will of God are the two applications from this parable.
P - Prayer
God, I want to be consistent in my prayer life. I want to have a constant connection with you. In my prayer life, help me to go deep. I want to know your character and will. I want to reveal who you are to others through my words and actions. Help me to be persistent in seeking who you so that I may be recreated in your image and so that justice may happen in the world. Amen.