Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Tue, 08/12/2009 – 15:18
Luke / Lukas
Verse: 1 – 8
Luke 18 verses 1 – 8 is the story of someone whom society holds in high regard. The widow, however, is neither important, nor rich, nor influential, so she is ignored, driven to the outskirts of the town. Such a widow was usually dependent on the mercy of others for her survival. This woman is in desperate need, probably without a friend or family member to support her, and she is also exploited by a ruthless judge.
The judge is, for his time, an unusual kind of man: he is a judge who has no respect for God or man, despite the words of Ex 22:22, 23: “Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry.” So the judge’s behaviour is strange, for the administration of justice has been built on God’s laws, and because respect for others plays such an important role in these laws. But he does not heed God or the people – his judgment turns into injustice.
Not only is the widow driven from society; she is also rejected by the one person who is supposed to help her. Sometimes this kind of ‘rejection’ takes place passively, sometimes it is an active disregard of someone with whom I do not want to be associated. Often the criterion is arbitrary, like faith, race, prosperity, or sexual orientation, or HIV status. Our society has just as many rejected “widows” as in Jesus’ times.
That is why Jesus tells them a parable through which the truth is preached: God, in his own time, will certainly hear the persistent prayer. If a widow’s perseverance can make an unjust judge act justly, how much more will it be true for a loving Father?
The parable ends with hope when Jesus says, “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?” God promises deliverance for his children who trust in Him, even though He has to change an unwilling “judge” into somebody willing to do the right thing.
To think about (or discuss): Is there someone to whom you owe a fair answer?
Author: L Foot