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Woman seeking justice in the bible

Account Options Sign in. My library Help Advanced Book Search. View eBook. University Press of America , M12 22 - pages. This collection will whet the reader's appetite for cutting-edge research and encourage a closer look at some of the familiar passages that may have been overlooked in the biblical text.

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Sermon on the Persistent Widow in Luke 18:1-5

Mansfield preached this sermon in conjunction with Restaurant Opportunity Center of New York on the sidewalk in front of the Redeye Grill, where the restaurant workers there were holding a vigil, demanding their rights. He talks about the parable of the widow and the unjust judge, a story Jesus tells, to show that the Bible says that they should demand their rights until they wear the owner of the restaurant down and they are shown justice.

While a student at Union Theological Seminary, he worked with the Poverty Initiative, and now continues that relationship by participating in the Poverty Scholars program. He told them a parable about the need to pray at all times and never to lose heart. This is what he said: Once there was a judge in this town who neither feared God nor cared about people.

This widow, she kept coming back and she kept coming back until she wore that judge down! She kept coming back until she wore corruption down! She kept coming back until she got what she was owed! She came back until she left with justice! We keep coming back and we keep coming back! And we will keep on coming back until we wear Mr. Fireman down! We will get what is owed to the workers of the Redeye Grill! We will wear them down! Fireman, the management, even the police! They call the authorities on us, they send threatening letters, they file false reports, they photograph and videotape us, they lose our sound permit.

They accuse us of slander and defamation and lying! Well, I say that there are a lot of things that can jump out at you from the emptiness of night — and there is deep emptiness at this place — and out of the abyss come lots of boogey-man attacks: sneaking, creeping, slithering up and trying to scare us away! And we come here, burning our bright candle, to say that the lies have not overcome it!

The threats will not overcome us! Because the emptiness of night cannot overcome our light of truth! Our candle of truth will light up the Redeye Grill and show this whole community the corruption and the injustice that is lurking deep inside. We will shine our bright light into that red eye, and they will be the first to blink! We will not be frightened away! We will not be scared! We will not lose heart! They may lose our sound permit, but we will not lose heart! This here — this vigil, these candles — this is our prayer.

Just like the prayer of the widow in the story. She carried the candle of truth to the corrupt judge and the light of truth glared at him until he gave her what she deserved, until he gave her what she was owed, until he gave her justice!

We are that widow! The workers of the Redeye Grill are that widow! The widow never lost heart in her prayer, and neither will we! We will keep coming back, ceaselessly, one hour every week until this whole community sees the corruption and injustice lying inside the Redeye Grill!

Jesus told the disciples it was important not to lose heart, he told them to pray ceaselessly and then he told them this story about the widow who annoyed a corrupt judge to get the justice she deserved.

She annoyed him and annoyed him, week after week. I can only hope, by the grace of God, that we can be every bit as annoying as that widow! We want justice now! Right here! On Earth! At the Redeye Grill! This sidewalk is our church and this vigil is our prayer and it is our demand! Yes, let me say it again! What is it that makes these workers like that widow?

Well, within the Jewish scriptures, which Jesus would have known and taught from, there is a special concern for specific types of people.

In the Jewish scriptures the widow, the orphan, and the immigrant are the people who have the least access to the benefits and the support of human society.

At that time in that society they had no voice because they were without a husband, without a father, or because they were strangers. The widow, the orphan, and the immigrant represent to us today all the people whose voices are being ignored in our society: poor people, oppressed people, people who have fewer means to defend themselves, people who are taken advantage of by the powerful, people who have been disempowered, disenfranchised, and pushed out to the boundaries.

In the Jewish scriptures they describe these struggling people as the widows, the orphans, and the immigrants. So, Jesus has a reason for making the star of his story a widow, he wanted to make sure that everyone knew it was one of the most vulnerable, one of the most troubled, one of the most oppressed, who was able to get the justice that she deserved! That widow is anyone who is being denied the justice they deserve by a corrupt system!

She is every woman who has worked at the Redeye Grill and who has been discriminated against or sexually harassed! The widow is every minority worker at the Redeye Grill who has been passed over for promotion because of the color of their skin or prejudice against their culture! And, clearly, the widow is every immigrant worker at the Redeye Grill whose labor has been taken advantage of!

Lately, there have been many immigrant workers here at the Redeye Grill who have been praying ceaselessly for their rights!

They are standing up for their rights; they are demanding that they be treated fairly! And they are being fired for it! The Fireman Hospitality Group thinks that they can abuse immigrant workers! And when those workers complain, the Fireman Hospitality Group thinks they can fire them to keep them quiet, to scare immigrant workers into accepting their unfair policies! But we will not be scared because we have the truth on our side!

And we will not stop complaining! We will not stop annoying — until all the workers, immigrant workers as well, are treated with dignity and respect and given the rights and wages that they deserve!

God said to the Jewish people in Deuteronomy: Do not deny an immigrant justice! Do not deny an immigrant justice! Remember that you were a slave in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this. Our situation in the United States is very much the same as it was for the ancient Israelites.

Remember that all of us here, unless we are Native Americans, are immigrants to this land. All of our families came here as immigrant families! Fireman and everyone at the Fireman Hospitality Group and every manager at the Redeye Grill comes from an immigrant family. God reminds us that this is all the more reason that we should we should give our immigrant workers, struggling workers with families, the justice and the rights which they deserve!

Instead, when our immigrants speak up about being mistreated, Mr. Fireman retaliates against them by firing them and justice is denied! No immigrant person should ever be retaliated against for speaking up for their rights! This is why none of us can let ourselves be intimidated or scared away! They are going to keep calling the police, keep lying to the authorities, keep filing false reports.

They are going to keep on photographing you and me. They want to intimidate us. They are standing behind me now, scowling at you. They want you to think that you are wrong, that you are greedy, that they were generous to give you anything, and what little you got was all you deserved! They want to turn people against you and lie about you and make you feel bad about yourself.

So, hold on to your candles of truth! Take refuge in the warm glow of the knowledge that you have God and justice on your side! No matter how much they huff, no matter how much they puff, they cannot blow out the flame of truth which you hold! Hold your candle up high and hold your head up high!

Do not be ashamed of your prayers or your demand for justice! And do not be afraid of what lies in the night, because the night is empty and the lies are empty but you are shining — full of the truth and full of dignity and full of beauty!

When we act for justice, we have made justice! Do you believe it? When we practice our prayers here, when we demand justice from this corrupted restaurant, we have, in fact, made justice for this community! We are here because we love the light of truth! We are here making justice by demanding that the Redeye Grill act according to the justice which we have brought here and which shines out of our candles!

No matter the result — being threatened, being lied about, or being denied — we will keep making justice and we will not be frightened away, we will not lose heart! Many Christians have just celebrated Easter, many others will celebrate Easter this Sunday.

Jesus taught his followers to practice their prayers, to demand justice, and to resist evil systems of oppression. And because he taught that, the Roman Empire crucified him. That resurrection is a promise, that no matter how bad things may get, even in the face of the most unjust death, that life and justice will not be defeated!

So, we are here doing as Jesus taught, praying ceaseless by demanding justice, praying ceaselessly for those who persecute us. We will not be moved! We will not stop making the justice that God has taught us to make!

16. The Unjust Judge and the Persistent Widow

Jesus used parabolic language to relate to common people about deep things and hard topics in faith. A widow is a woman who has experienced great loss of her spouse and who wishes to fill up the emptiness left in her heart caused by the loss. We may also have undergone some losses too, that of people or something precious to us, spirituality, passion for God to do His work, or loss of answers to life and faith. This unjust judge who neither fears God nor has respect for people seems to have all the power in the world.

In it, a judge who lacks compassion is repeatedly approached by a poor widow, seeking justice. Initially rejecting her demands, he eventually honors her request so he will not be worn out by her persistence. One interpretation of this parable is that it demonstrates the importance of persistence in prayer , never giving up.

In the parable of the persistent widow Luke , a poor, powerless person the widow persists in nagging a corrupt, powerful person the judge to do justice for her. He identifies the hearers — us — with the woman, and the prayed-to person — God — with the corrupt judge, a strange combination. The purpose of the parable is to encourage Christians to persevere in their faith against all odds. But it also has two applications for those who work in positions of leadership.

Parable of the Persistent Woman

The seat of power changes anyone who sits upon its lofty height, whether by choice or by chance. Judges hold significant power over the lives of people who appear before them in court. Most judges run a tight ship. They command respect and order. All this is heady stuff. Through this example of faith Christ is showing us to be persistent in our walk with God. Christ describes a judge who seems to be weary of his job.

Luke 18:1-8: A Biblical Defense of the “Nasty Woman”

Question: "What can we learn from the parable of the persistent widow and unjust judge? The parable of the widow and the judge is set in an unnamed town. Over that town presides an unjust judge who has no fear of God and no compassion for the people under his jurisdiction. In the Jewish community, a judge was expected to be impartial, to judge righteously, and to recognize that judgment ultimately belongs to God Deuteronomy — Thus, the judge in this story is incompetent and unqualified for the job.

In that day judges traveled around and held court in tents.

Justice seems to be an elusive goal. We seek it but it hides. We chase it but it is often beyond our grasp. But, as Disciples women we know that seeking justice is part of who we are.

Lessons from the Parables: Stay With Me - The Parable of the Persistent Widow

Start free trial. Will he keep putting them off? However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth? All rights reserved worldwide.

Yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. Luke I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. Judges And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death;. Luke And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. Matthew But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

17 Bible Verses to Inspire Your Advocacy

In American culture, intelligent women who voice their opinions and stand up for justice are labeled bitches. In Luke we hear the story of a tenacious widow seeking justice from an ungodly judge who feels threatened by her persistence, and Jesus uses her as a positive character model for his disciples. Though scholars have tried to tame this woman, even through translation, she maintains a challenge to the hegemonic myth of woman as bitch. As a young, progressive woman in America who has watched women stand up for their rights and struggle to have their voices heard in this country, watching the election was painful. Whether one cared much for Secretary Clinton or not, it must be admitted that she is a woman who has worked her entire life to get to where she is today. To see her be berated in debates and torn apart in media, then watch her lose to a man with no experience compared to her thirty years in the field, made progressive women feel the weight of the glass ceiling.

'The Parable of the Widow and the Unjust Judge is about a persistent widow who keeps going to an unjust Oct 27, - Uploaded by Christian Kids TV.

Will he delay long in helping them? And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? They all went something like this: I should bring along with me a small toy or object to represent something that I strongly desired to have as a child.


He has published academic studies of employment discrimination in Europe. Account Options Sign in. My library Help Advanced Book Search. Christopher Adam-Bagley , Mahmoud Abubaker.

Parable of the Unjust Judge

Join us, June at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota, for this exciting Summit. Selling a human being.

Mansfield preached this sermon in conjunction with Restaurant Opportunity Center of New York on the sidewalk in front of the Redeye Grill, where the restaurant workers there were holding a vigil, demanding their rights. He talks about the parable of the widow and the unjust judge, a story Jesus tells, to show that the Bible says that they should demand their rights until they wear the owner of the restaurant down and they are shown justice.

Continuing with the framework we explained yesterday, we want to set ourselves up to be challenged by the widow we read about in the eighteenth chapter of the Gospel of Luke. Being open to being challenged means that we make ourselves think, "Maybe what she is saying is right. Maybe I need to question what I think. We need to understand the story found in Luke against the background of Luke 11, where Jesus teaches his disciples to pray and follows it up with a declaration that if we ask, we will receive: if we who are not always so good find it impossible to say no to our children, much less will God say no to us if we ask.

Biblical Justice & Social Justice


The Text in Context


Comments: 5
  1. Akikasa

    Bravo, what words..., a remarkable idea

  2. Meztibar

    These are all fairy tales!

  3. Mugor

    It seems remarkable idea to me is

  4. Tet

    It is remarkable, it is rather valuable answer

  5. Doran

    It's out of the question.

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