The persistent widow of the parable kept asking the judge for “justice against my adversary” – but this “judge neither feared God nor respected men” (Luke 18:23). Unreasonable judges would resonate in the minds of some of Jesus’ hearers. In the end, the judge says, “because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice” (verse 5). Jesus then draws the great contrast between this judge and God. “Will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?” (verse 7).

The Psalms of David, the cries of the prophets and the works of the apostles all show that God is near and listening. The climax of the parable applies today, and raises the question as to whether there will be any faith existing when Christ comes. “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Some have suggested it means, ‘the faith’ in the sense of ‘a true faith’ – but the Greek does not support this.

Christ’s question is for us to answer today! No doubt there were times when such as Paul and Jeremiah cried out in faith day and night! But how much will that be the case when there is “distress of nations in perplexity … people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world” (21:26). The next two verses require us to make sure the lamps of our faith are full of oil.