Widows were the epitome of the destitute and desperate in ancient Jewish society. In his gospel, Luke often wrote of widows and their journeys of faith: the prophetess Anna who saw the newborn Messiah (Luke 2:36-38); the widow of Zarephath who ministered to Elijah (Luke 4:26; 1 Kings 17:18-19); the widow of Nain whose only son was raised from the dead by Jesus (Luke 7:11-15); and the poor widow who gave two small copper coins (Luke 21:1-4). Luke also records Jesus telling a parable about a persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8), encouraging His listeners “to always pray and never give up” (Luke 18:1).

This parable contrasts a widow’s plight and a child’s privilege. Like the widow, we’re desperately helpless. But unlike the widow who was a stranger to the judge, we’re God’s children (Romans 8:16). The widow didn’t have easy access to the unjust judge, but we have direct and open access to our Father (Ephesians 2:18, 3:12). The judge didn’t care, but our heavenly Father cares deeply for us (Matthew 6:26; 1 Peter 5:7). The widow came to a court of law, but we approach the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:14-16). The widow had no one to argue her case, but we have Jesus our Advocate pleading our case (1 John 2:1) and the Holy Spirit articulating our pleas (Romans 8:26-27). She had a claim based on the law of man, but we have all the promises of God (2 Corinthians 1:20).

If an unjust, uncaring judge can be moved to do what’s right, what would our righteous, gracious Father be willing to do? (Luke 18:6-8). Jesus replies, “If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him” (Matthew 7:11).

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Luke 24:13-43