14.11.2020 Lk 18:1-8

Jesus tells us we ‘need to pray continually and never lose heart’. The simple parable has a clear message. It is quite interesting to note the words of the judge. ‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.’ The Greek word used here strike is ‘hypopiazo’, which is literally translated into giving a black eye. It ia a term used in connection with boxing or wrestling. That is why some commentators call this widow not as a persistent widow but as a violent widow. Thinking in that line, the judge is afraid that this woman would come and physically attack him if he doesn’t give her a verdict. Then comes the explanation of the parable where Jesus seemingly compares God with this judge. Sometimes people are confused by this application of the parable. How can that be a right explanation, because the parable is describing an unrighteous judge and Jesus says this refers to God? One of the common methods of argumentation at that time was called in Hebrew ‘qal-va-homer’ which means from lesser to greater. In other words, if this is true for this lesser thing how much more true is it for the greater! This was a standard rabbinic form of argumentation. (See also Lk 11:13). If an unrighteous judge will vindicate the widow because of her persistence, how much more will the righteous judge, God, will vindicate those who pray to him with persistence and constancy. The parable is an invitation to us to persist in prayer especially in times of difficulties. We have thousands of reasons to lose heart and fall into despair, whether it be our family problems, financial difficulties, relationship issues, injustice done to us etc. The widow did not lose heart even though she was up against an unjust judge. We however, approach a loving Father, ready to listen to us and we are invited to come with calm assurance. We are engaging with a loving God who cares for us in every detail.