Parable of the Widow and the Unjust Judge – Sermon Application #1
The parable of the widow and the unjust judge in Luke 18:1-8 repeats the theme of importunate prayer which we saw in the parable of the friend in need (Luke 11:5-13). The Bible teaches us that the prayer of faith is powerful (Jas. 5:13-18), and the prayer of faith is marked by tireless perseverance!
Prayer application 1:
In the Bible, the widow and the orphan often appear together due to the fact that they are both helpless and entirely dependent on others (Ex. 22:22; Deut. 10:18, 14:29, 24:17, 27:19, etc.). While widows and orphans are helpless in the human sense, all of us are helpless in the spiritual sense because we can do nothing without Jesus Christ (Jhn. 15:5; Rom. 7:8; 1 Cor. 15:10; Zech. 4:6). When we compare verse three and verse seven in the parable, we see that the widow represents the elect, the church of Jesus Christ; and as such, she illustrates the helplessness of the church apart from the power of God and shows the need for the church to depend on God in importunate prayer. Let’s take a minute to reflect on our own prayer lives. We are all helpless without the power of Christ, but do we sense our helplessness? Practice acknowledging your need of God’s power and grace in areas of your life which you have lacked a sense of helplessness and for which you have not been making requests.
Prayer application 2:
As Pastor Vradenburgh reminded us, Satan will not come against us in the form of a little red devil with horns and a pitchfork. Rather, he uses the world as an instrument to tempt us into sinning against Christ. According to 1 John 2:16, we see that Satan uses the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life to seduce men into the love of the world (compare with Eph. 2:2-3). The very things which appeal to our fleshly minds and affections are often leveraged by Satan and his forces to destroy close fellowship with Jesus. The Bible reveals that the seemingly harmless and even mundane concerns of this world can be snares to our souls (Luke 8:14; Matt. 6:25-33, 13:22; Luke 9:59-60, 14:16-24, 26, 17:26-33, 21:34; 1 Tim. 6:8-9; 2 Tim. 2:3-4). Is it only coincidental that these kinds of cares tend to fill our minds when we attempt to pray? The next time you are praying, keep a pen and paper nearby and write down any distractions, such as things you need to do, on a piece of paper to think about later and then return to praying.
Application to the theology of Satan (the “adversary”):
Satan is not some abstract principle of evil, but he is a real fallen angelic being (Revelation 20:1-10; Ephesians 2:1-4; Job 1:9-12; Genesis 3:13-14). Satan was a beautiful angel who dwelled in God’s presence, but he rebelled and persuaded many other angels to do the same (Ezek. 28:11-17; 1 Tim. 3:6; Is. 14:12-14; Jud. 1:6; Luke 10:18; Rev. 12:4). Satan tempted Eve to sin and so led men into sin as well (Gen. 3). The name Satan means “adversary.” Other names for him include “the serpent,” (Revelation 20:2) “the devil,” “the dragon,” (Revelation 12:9) “the prince of this world,” (John 12:31) “the prince of the power of the air,” (Ephesians 2:2), and “the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2; see also 1 Jhn. 3:8-10). He has mastered deceit (Gen. 3), counterfeiting (2 Cor. 11:14), dividing (2 Cor. 2:11; 1 Tim. 5:11-15), tempting (1 Cor. 7:5; 1 Chron. 21:1), ensnaring (1 Tim. 3:7), harassing (2 Cor. 12:7), oppressing (Acts 10:38), hindering (1 Thess. 2:18; Acts 13:10), blinding (Matt. 13:19; Luke 8:12; 2 Cor. 4:4), and performing false miracles (2 Thess. 2:9). As Pastor Vradenburgh pointed out, Satan’s current strategy is to “wear out the saints” (Dan. 7:25).