18 Then Jesus used this story to teach his followers that they should always pray and never lose hope. 2 “In a certain town there was a judge who did not respect God or care about people. 3 In that same town there was a widow who kept coming to this judge, saying, ‘Give me my rights against my enemy.’ 4 For a while the judge refused to help her. But afterwards, he thought to himself, ‘Even though I don’t respect God or care about people, 5 I will see that she gets her rights. Otherwise she will continue to bother me until I am worn out.’”
6 The Lord said, “Listen to what the unfair judge said. 7 God will always give what is right to his people who cry to him night and day, and he will not be slow to answer them. 8 I tell you, God will help his people quickly. But when the Son of Man comes again, will he find those on earth who believe in him?”
Being Right with God
9 Jesus told this story to some people who thought they were very good and looked down on everyone else: 10 “A Pharisee and a tax collector both went to the Temple to pray. 11 The Pharisee stood alone and prayed, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people who steal, cheat, or take part in adultery, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast[a] twice a week, and I give one-tenth of everything I get!’
13 “The tax collector, standing at a distance, would not even look up to heaven. But he beat on his chest because he was so sad. He said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, when this man went home, he was right with God, but the Pharisee was not. All who make themselves great will be made humble, but all who make themselves humble will be made great.”
18:12fast The people would give up eating for a special time of prayer and worship to God. It was also done to show sadness and disappointment.
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