Parable of the Unjust Judge
The Parable of the Unjust Judge (also known as the Parable of the Importunate Widow or the Parable of the Persistent Widow), is one of the parables of Jesus which appears in only one of the Canonical gospels of the New Testament. According to the Gospel of Luke 18:1-8, a judge who is both atheistic and lacking compassion eventually agrees to do justice to a poor widow just because she is so persistent in her demands.
This parable demonstrates the importance of persistence in prayer, never giving up. It is found immediately prior to the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (also on prayer) and is similar in to the parable of the Friend at Night.
Luke reports the parable as follows:
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.'
"For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!'"
And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"
— Luke 18:1-8, New International Version
The framing material of the parable demonstrates the need to always pray like that persistent widow, for if even an unjust judge will eventually listen, God is much quicker to do so. The parable of the Friend at Night has a similar meaning.
For he is a God of justice, who knows no favorites. Though not unduly partial toward the weak, yet he hears the cry of the oppressed. He is not deaf to the wail of the orphan, nor to the widow when she pours out her complaint; Do not the tears that stream down her cheek cry out against him that causes them to fall? He who serves God willingly is heard; his petition reaches the heavens. The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal, nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds, judges justly and affirms the right.
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