THE PARABLE OF THE UNJUST JUDGE

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    [Luke:18:1-8].

    Lesson No.: 
    180
    Class: 
    Senior
    Memory Verse: 

    “And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?” (Luke 18:7).

    Cross References: 

    I Admonition to Pray
    1. The parable of the unjust judge, and similar cases, were told by Jesus to illustrate the great importance of prayer, [Luke:18:1-8]; [Luke:11:5-13]; [Matthew:15:22-28].
    2. Persistency in prayer to God brings the answer to our petitions, [Luke:18:2-7]; [1 Kings:3:16-27]; [Daniel:10:2], [Daniel:10:10-12].
    3. We are to pray and not faint despite any opposition encountered, [Luke:18:1]; [Luke:21:36]; [Nehemiah:4:7-9]; [1 Chronicles:16:11]; [Matthew:26:41]; [Ephesians:6:18]; [1 Thessalonians:5:17].

    II The Prayer of Faith
    1. Persistency in prayer must be coupled with faith that God can and does hear our prayer, and will answer, [Luke:18:3]; [John:4:46-53]; [Matthew:8:2-3], [Matthew:8:5-10]; [Matthew:21:18-22]; [1 John:5:14-15].
    2. Jesus asked the question, “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” [Luke:18:8]; [Matthew:24:9-13], [Matthew:24:24]; [1 Thessalonians:5:1-8]; [Hebrews:10:23-25]; [James:5:7-11].

    Notes: 

    Pray and Not Faint
    “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint”; that was the advice of Jesus. From this advice we understand that it is necessary and urgent that we pray much; and when praying, that we do not tire and faint.
    The truth is that prevailing prayer is the hardest kind of work. It is work that the flesh never seems to accustom itself to, and work to which the spirit and soul of man must be trained with much discipline and effort. Yet there is no labour from which a man will reap richer dividends. The soul that prays the prayer of faith is drinking from the Fountain of Living Waters, Jesus Christ, and shall receive eternal life for his efforts.

    It was to encourage men to prevail, and to persist in prayer until they received an answer from God, that Jesus told the parable of the unjust judge. There was a widow who had been wronged. She desired justice, but, as is too often the case, because she was a widow she was unable to defend herself in her rights. Consequently she desired the judge who had jurisdiction over the case to carry out the function of his office in her behalf.

    This judge was an unjust judge and feared neither God nor man. He cared not at all if his oath of office was upheld. Too many times do men who hold high political office use the authority with which they are vested to obtain for themselves illicit riches and gains, without regard for the people who suffer as a result of this selfishness. So it was with this man; he had no fear of reprisal from God or man, and as such was heartless to any pleas for justice that might be made to him. It was to him the widow made per plea that she be avenged of her adversary.

    Reward of Perseverance
    The unjust judge continually refused the widow her request. Having no other alternative, she persisted in her demands that he avenge her. Then, untouched by her need, unmoved by the duty of his office, without regard for public opinion of himself, and without fear of God, he decided that the widow was a continual disturbance to him; and for no more apparent reason than his selfish desire to be left alone, he granted her request. “And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily” (Luke:18:7, 8). Such is the promise of Jesus that no prevailing prayer made to God shall go unheeded.

    The widow had her petition granted on no other basis than her persistency in coming to the unjust judge. Therefore, if sheer persistency gained the widow the granting of her petition, how much more shall we have our requests answered when we pray to a righteous God!

    Prevailing Prayer
    We are fighting against spiritual enemies that do their best to impede, to block, to discourage, and to destroy all who seek God through the medium of prayer. The Bible hears ample evidence that the power of Satan, and evil in general, is arrayed against those who pray to God in faith. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. . . . Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians:6:12, 18). “The whole world lieth in wickedness” (I John:5:19). This state of affairs coupled with the powers of evil are Jesus’ reasons for stressing the necessity of agonising, prevailing prayer to God until we receive an answer.

    We are not only to pray but to persevere in prayer, for we shall surely become discouraged and quit if we are not determined to prevail with God. It has been the experience of all God’s saints that at times they have had to agonise and prevail with God until the answer came.
    Daniel sought the face of God in behalf of his people, in accordance with the will of God, but was obstructed in his prayers by Satan for a period of three weeks, until God gave him an answer ([Daniel:10:1-13]).
    Jacob once prayed all night through, until the break of day, and his thigh was thrown out of place with the intensity of his praying. Nevertheless Jacob persisted, and prevailed with God until he received an answer to his prayer ([Genesis:32:24-26]).

    Blind Bartimæus, a beggar, once cried aloud to Jesus as He passed by. The spectators around Jesus bade the beggar keep quiet; but he cried aloud the more, until Jesus stopped and granted his wish, that he would receive his sight ([Mark:10:46-52]).
    After the resurrection of Christ, two of His disciples met Him on the road to Emmaus. They did not recognise Him, and began to tell Him of the happenings to Christ in the past few days. In their conversation He drew them out about their belief of Him. When He assayed to go on, they constrained Jesus to tarry and abide with them, which He did. Their insistence that Jesus should tarry with them was the deciding factor that made Jesus stay and sup with them.

    From these examples we are to learn that we should pray with such determination and perseverance that no difficulty or circumstance will deter us from our desired end.

    Evidence of Faith
    After Jesus related the parable of the unjust judge for the purpose of encouraging men to pray, He asked the question: “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”
    We know what the Bible definition of faith is: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews:11:1). Faith is not an effervescent fantasy that no one can grasp, but is a factual and tangible evidence of God: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews:11:6). This is what Jesus will be looking for in the hearts of men when He returns to earth again. Faith in God! Will He find it? We know from the Bible He will not find much faith.

    “And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 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. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Luke:17:26-30).
    Such will be the condition of the majority of the people in the world when Jesus comes again. They will have no faith in God, no regard for the teachings and principles of the Bible. Theirs will be only blind, selfish, and sinful lives. The preponderance of public opinion and men’s ways will be a strong deterrent to many who would live godly in Christ Jesus. In those days, then, it will be only the one who has a great determination to keep his faith in God who will be able to pray with success.

    That soul who is not fully persuaded in his heart that God is, and that God will answer sooner or later, will be unable to hold out against the pressure of sin in the last days. Do we have faith? Then we shall be praying to God every day. He that has faith prays because he believes God will answer his prayers. Our persevering prayer and faith are complementary, and we cannot have the one without the other.

    “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint” is the admonition Jesus gave to all; and is the more for us in these days just prior to His return to earth again. God is able and wiling to keep His people pure and holy if they will pray in faith, regardless of all unfavourable circumstances and obstacles that would hinder them in living Christian lives.

    Questions: 

    1. Why did the unjust judge answer the widow’s plea?
    2. Who is the Righteous Judge?
    3. Who is resisting the prayers of God’s people?
    4. Why should we be persistent in praying?
    5. Why will there be a lack of faith in men’s hearts in the last days?
    6. What two things are complementary to each other?
    7. Define faith.