The “Black Eye” Widow

Jesus gives us a parable in Luke 18 of the persistent widow. In this story, a widow comes to a judge and is pleading for help. The judge did not fear God nor did he respect man. But the widow didn’t give up. Day after day, she came to him, saying, “Give me justice against my adversary.” For a while the judge would not entertain her request.

After a while, though, 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” (Luke 18:4, 5 ESV). The word choice here is interesting. She keeps “bothering” the judge. The word used here means to wear one out by overworking them. Then he says he doesn’t want her to “beat me down” by her continual coming. The word here literally means to give someone a black eye. It was an idiom used for someone who was relentless.

The incredible thing is that Jesus is using this widow as an example of how TO pray! “And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?” (vs. 7). Jesus is telling his followers to be like the “Black Eye Widow,” to keep coming to God over and over again. We shouldn’t be afraid to be bold and persistent in our prayers!