“And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” -Luke 18:1-8
I love the parable of the persistent widow. I see myself and the rest of humanity in the same position as the widow, yet I also see something lacking in myself when compared to the widow. I am encouraged to be like her. Let me explain.
Positionally, we are recipients of immeasurable grace (if we have called upon the name of the Lord for salvation), sinners saved though not yet glorified. We all, like the widow, are left for dead due to our state. We, outside of the faith given by God, have no source of provision, no way to survive. We need relief. We need justice. As it turns out, the justice needed is not in our favor.
We are those born blind and lovers of darkness (John 3:19). As John Piper states in his new book, A Peculiar Glory, “We are not chained in a dark cell, longing to see the sunshine of God’s glory. We love the cell, because sin and Satan have deceived us into seeing the drawings on the wall as the true glory and the source of greatest pleasure. Our prison cell of darkness is not the bondage of external constraint but of internal preference. We have exchanged the glory of God for images (Rom. 1:23). We love them. That is our blindness.”
Yet, one man, one alone could acquit us. God. God, to the praise of his glorious grace, definitively planned for his Son, the only Begotten, to be delivered into the hands of sinful man, murdered, and then rose victorious over sin and death forever (Acts 2:23-24). It is that predetermined act of love that opens the eyes of our hearts to see the heinousness of those drawings on the wall that enticed us and turn our hearts to Christ- the very God-man, our mediating Savior.
We can now, needy and desperate widows, stand before our justifying Judge and rejoice in him knowing that he has indeed granted justice to his elect through the work of Christ. With such reality in mind, we have one continuous, joyful, necessary duty- commune with God daily and beg for his help. His ability is there always. His willingness is the same. Looking upon us clothed in Christ’s righteousness, he gives to us gladly. Thus, let us plead with him gladly, never losing heart for he who promised is faithful (Heb. 10:23).