Unjust Judge and Widow
[Luke 18:1-8] 1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 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. 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?
What matters to us in believing in Jesus is to pray and bear and not to lose heart. This bearing may seem trivial but it is the fundamental thing to complete the faith. We cannot receive faith nor enter the kingdom of heaven without tolerance. The teaching on this parable is to tolerate and “bear” without giving up even when we feel weary and troubled while our old man is processed during the faith growing course.
Some Christians misunderstand this parable such that we must pray fervently, and they also insist that we must pray continually as the widow did and must not abandon continual praying even when there is no reply to our prayer from God. God sometimes gives answers to our prayer because he has a reason to answer to it and not because we prayed fervently. The attitude of fervent praying does not change one thing that was impossible to be another thing that is possible, and vice versa.
Jesus speaks a parable that we ought always to pray and not to lose heart. There was in a city a judge who did not fear God and cared nothing for man. There also was a widow in that city who came before him demanding avenging of her adversary. The judge refused for a while and said to himself. “I do not fear God and care for men, but this widow troubles me, and I will avenge her lest she wears me out.”
Jesus tell us to hear what the unjust judge said, and that God will avenge his own chosen people who cry out to him day and night speedily and whether the Son of man will find faith on the earth when he comes. This parable does not teach us to pray continually and eagerly, but it says about our attitude we should have while our old man is processed during the faith growing course. Now, let’s get started.
Who is the Judge?
[Luke 18:1-3] 1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 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.
In these verses, the city represents the world where we live, and the judge is Jesus Christ. It is appropriate to read the judge as Jesus since God gave him the judgment over the living and the dead. However, it is not easy to accept the above-noted definition on the judge to be Jesus because the parable describes the judge is a man of nonsense who does not fear God and cares nothing for men. Further, we do not want to think of the judge as Jesus in our humble opinion since Jesus depicts him to be an ‘unjust judge.’ However, the expression for Jesus as the unjust judge is very much biblical, wise, and more than common sense.
+ Judge which Feared Not God
The judge is portrayed as he who does not fear God, but it does not mean that he pays no attention to God and looks down on Him. ‘Fear’ is phobeo (verb) and phobos (noun) in Greek, which is interpreted into two ways. One is ‘to reverence.’ We should fear God in this sense. Consider Romans 3:18: “There is no fear of God before their eyes,” and 2 Peter 2:17: “Honour all [men]. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”
The other meaning is ‘to be afraid of.’ The judge does not fear God because God is His father who loves Him. Paul says in Romans 8:15: “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”
If you fear God, it proves that, even if you believe, you are still under the law, having a spirit of bondage. On the contrary, if you are able to call God father because of being born again of Him, you no longer know Him as the One to Fear. He is the father of love who understands you and cares for you. You are sons of God.
Jesus instructed His disciple not to fear Him. Read
[Matthew 14:27] But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
If we fear God, we are not made perfect in love. Read
[1 John 4:18] There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
The wicked servant in Luke 19 feared Jesus. Read
[Luke 19:21] For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
So we should not fear Jesus and God, as Jesus does not fear God.
+ He Neither Regarded Men
The judge is also depicted as he who does not respect man, but it does not signify that he despises other men. It means that he nei-ther depends on man nor trusts in him.
[John 2:23-25] 23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. 24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
Jesus performed miracles and many people believed, but He was not convinced of the durability of their faith because He knew the fundamental nature of their mind that could vacillate at any time. We remember that Peter declared that he would not forsake Jesus with his life but in the end, he denied Jesus at His trial (Mat 26:69-75). Man’s will or zeal is unreliable, unless he is born again. In this sense, Jesus does not rely on man. Unlike Jesus, the Pharisees always regarded men.
[Matthew 6:1] Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
They tried to do righteousness before men, to be seen by them, and Jesus rebuked it. In this sense, we should not regard man, as Jesus did not. Well, you will now have eliminated the concern that was caused by my assertion that the unjust judge in the parable, who neither feared God or had regard for man, was Jesus.
One thing that I still need to explain is why Jesus called the judge appearing in the par-able the ‘unjust judge.’ I will explain this later. In the mean time, I will proceed on the basis that the judge is Jesus Christ.
Who Is the Widow?
The term of widow is defined in the dictionary as a woman whose husband has died and has not married again. We are widows who have not married Christ, the true husband. Therefore, the widow represents us who believe in Jesus. The widow comes to the judge to demand avenging of her adversary, which symbolizes that we come to the church, pray, and ask Jesus. The eager asking by the widow leads the judge to avenge her. Now we have one thing to think of.
Who is the adversary of the widow? The adversary is not a man who gave a big damage to her, but the old man of the widow. The old man seduces the widow to digress from God and commit sin. Hence, we can conclude the old man is the adversary. The widow asked Jesus to avenge her of that adversary.
The widow’s behavior includes many things to consider though it looks simple. First, she recognized that she is separated from God and remains as a sinner because of the very old man. She tried to process the old man. Many Christians attend church services and pray to God while in bondage of the old man, without knowing the identity of the old man. We can never be made free from sin through this manner of life.
Second, the widow knew from her experiences that not any one or any thing but only Jesus can process her old man. Therefore, she prayed to Jesus, which means that she made every effort to process her adversary. As a result, she became weary and fell down to thus find Jesus.
The widow symbolizes a man who truly repented and met Jesus after a Christian life under the control of law. The widow now asks Jesus to crucify the old man, her adversary, and be born to be a new man.
She knew the right Jesus and asked him the right thing to ask. She received what she asked not because she came to the judge and troubled him day and night, but because she asked the judge to do his own duty, that is, to judge and avenge her. Finally, she obtained what she desired. She asked the judge the right thing to ask.
What do We Ask Now?
Do you know Jesus as that of the widow? What do you ask the judge? Something to eat or drink? Money to pay for a house? Spiritual gifts for the revival of churches and evangelism? Or do you ask him to judge your old man as the widow did? Jesus came to us in order to judge our old man, crucify the same, and give the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, we must pray so that the judgment may come to us.
Matthew 6:31 and 6:33 read: Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Not any one can pray as read in Matthew. Those who have been processed can pray in that manner. The window was such a man.
He Would Not For A While
[Luke 18:4-5] 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.
The judge refused for a while and said to himself to avenge her so that she may not wear him out. For what reason did he refuse vengeance for a while? It is because she could not endure if the judge instantly has avenged her. Therefore, a preparatory time frame was needed to her.
We generally think that we instantly receive Jesus when we believe in him. It is not true. A period is required until we receive him. In this period, Jesus processes our old man and we are changed so that we may receive him. Outwardly, Jesus seems to refuse our prayer during this period.
Disciples of Jesus started to follow him, but they did not receive him at that time. They received him as the Spirit after three and a half years have passed. Jesus did not answer to their prayer for three and a half years in a parable expression. This ‘three and a half years’ corresponds to the period during which the judge refused the widow’s vengeance in the parable.
Period to Pray and Not to Faint
The period in which the widow should pray and not lose heart matches the ‘for a while’ during which the judge refused vengeance. During the period, we meet Jesus, follow him, and undergo crucifixion.This period corresponds to the stage of synoptic gospels in the faith growing course.
Why did Jesus say that men ought always to pray and not to lose heart during this period? It’s because our old man comes out to be processed and we undergo painful suffering during this period. Hence, we must tolerate and bear without giving up during this period.
Jesus rebuked Peter during this period by saying “Get thee behind me, Satan.” The rebuke gave him very sore pains. Those who have been rebuked by Jesus know the pains. Also, Peter denied, cursed, ran away, and wept bitterly when Jesus was taken. We may also suffer similar experiences that may be strong or weak depending on conditions, and we must bear everything in all cases. We cannot receive faith and salvation if failing to bear it.
He will Avenge Them Speedily
[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 says to us who bear and pray when the old man comes out, as follows: “ I will avenge them speedily. If not, they will wait and stare at me until I avenge them.” We cannot know at all whether we are saved or whether we are walking on the right way leading to salvation, if we do not know the way to salvation. Salvation cannot be given to those who do not know the way, but is quckly given to those who know it and bear and wait.
The Unjust Judge, Was He Unjust?
We defined the judge as Jesus Christ, and Jesus says the judge is ‘unjust.’ This is the difficult problem what we have, and we will now have a solution to it. Jesus told the judge is unjust because he delayed the judgment for the widow. There is no other reason to say he is unjust.
However, the delay of judgment is a must for processing the old man of the widow, and it was not an unjust delay but a good delay in its actual purpose. Hence, it is appropriate in the parable to think of the unjust judge as Jesus Christ.
His Own Elect
The elect correspond to those who met Jesus in their lives from among Jesus believers. They started follwing Jesus who is the Word. They are chosen.
[Matthew22:14] For many are called, but few are chosen.
Many people are called to believe in Jesus, but not many people are chosen to follow Jesus. Jesus will avenge the chosen people and save them if they have borne the faith growing course and have not lost heart.
When the Son of Man Cometh, Shall He Find Faith?
“Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”
Jesus says that the time when he avenges the chosen people is the time when the Son of man comes. In this instance, the earth indicates us, and the time when the Son of man comes represents the time when Jesus comes into us in the Spirit, which is the day of judgment the widow desires. In that day, she will serve Jesus Christ as their husband and live together with him for ever.
Jesus desires to avenge us and come into us, but the faith must be completed in us in advnace to his coming. When the faith is completed, the old man is completely processed and crucified by Jesus. If not, the Son of man cannot come. Jesus can process our old man right now, but he waits ‘for a while’ because this immediate process will perish our being.
As a result, the word of Jesus of “when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” means that the Son of man cannot come to us quickly even though he desires to come, because we are not prepared. Therefore, the unjust judge delayed judgment for the widow’s sake, and not because the judge was lazy.
The old man comes out while we meet true Jesus and walk with him. We will suffer pains during this period, but we have to pray and bear without losing heart. Let’s bear well so that we may receive faith and kingdom of heaven.
Taken from the title “Fresh Eyes to Read the Bible – Book 2”