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Text Sermons : Watchman Nee : THE PARABLE IN LUKE 18

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In the parable in Luke 18, our Lord Jesus points out these three aspects of prayer and their relationship to prayer. In this parable there are three parties: (1) the judge, (2) the widow, and (3) the opponent. The judge represents God, though in a negative sense. The widow represents the present church or individual faithful Christians. The opponent represents our enemy, the devil. In expounding this parable, we often pay attention only to the relationship between the judge and the widow. We see how the judge did not fear God and did not respect man, yet due to the widow's persistent cry, he eventually avenged her. Our God, not being heartless like this judge, will surely avenge us because of our crying! This is all that we say and all that we pay attention to, yet there is one most important figure whom we miss and neglect. Without the opponent, there would be no need for the widow to cry to the judge. It is because of the persecution of the opponent that the widow cries to the judge. If we consider the words which the widow speaks to the judge, we cannot help but consider the opponent. For the sake of brevity the Bible only records, "Avenge me of my opponent." How much is contained in this word! Does it not include a sorrowful tale? Those who cry out for avenging must have grievances, but where do the grievances come from? Surely they come from the oppression of the opponent, the one being accused. The Bible calls this one the opponent, which shows us the intensity of his hatred toward the widow. The Bible says that the widow asked to be avenged of her opponent. This shows the severity of the persecution suffered by the widow at the hand of the opponent. Hence, the widow was relating to the judge the history and the present threat of the opponent toward her. She asked the judge to punish the opponent and to avenge her for her grievances. Hence, strictly speaking, the opponent is the most crucial figure in this parable. Without him, no damage would have occurred under the judge's rule, and the widow could have lived and worked happily without being disturbed. Without him, there would not have been such a parable; nothing like this would have happened. The one who stirs up the wind and the waves is this opponent. He is the creator of all confusion and persecution. Hence, he deserves the most attention.





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