Original Research: Historical Thought and Source Interpretation

Prayerful persistence: Luke 18:1–8 through the lens of resilience

Annette Potgieter
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 79, No 2 | a8361 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v79i2.8361 | © 2023 Annette Potgieter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 December 2022 | Published: 08 March 2023

About the author(s)

Annette Potgieter, School of Theology, Hugenote Kollege, Wellington, South Africa; and Department for Old and New Testament, Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa


The parable of the widow and the unjust judge is unique to Luke. It forms part of three other parables shedding light on the coming of the Son of Man. It also bears striking resemblances with the parable of the friend at midnight, but unlike the friend of midnight, persistence is a focal point for interpreting the parable. There is an intersection between the parable of the unjust judge and resilience theory. Resilience may be understood as the ability to have positive, better-than-expected outcomes in the face of adversity. The widow persists and manages to persuade the judge to aid her plight. Accordingly, this article explored the intersections between resilience theory and the parable of the unjust judge as an interpretive aid.

Contribution: This article explored a multidisciplinary approach to Luke 18:1–8. Resilience theory was incorporated with exegesis, thereby offering another hermeneutical lens to the text that enriches our understanding.


Resilience theory; prayer; Gospel of Luke; adversity; better-than-expected outcomes.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being


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