18:1 And 1 he spake a parable unto them [to this end], that men ought always to pray, and not to a faint;
(1) God will have us to continue in prayer, not to weary us, but to exercise us; therefore we must fight against impatience so that a long delay does not cause us to quit our praying. 18:2 b Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
(a) Yield to afflictions and adversities as those do who have lost heart.
(b) He does not compare things that are of equal stature, but the less with the greater: If a man receives what is rightfully his at the hands of a most unrighteous judge, much more will the prayers of the godly prevail before God. 18:5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she c weary me.
(c) Literally, "beat me down with her blows", and it is a metaphor taken of wrestlers who beat their adversaries with their fists or clubs: in the same way those that are persistent beat the judges ears with their crying out, even as it were with blows. 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though d he bear long with them?
(d) Though he seems slow in avenging the harm done to his own. 18:9 2 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
(2) Two things especially make our prayers void and of no effect: confidence of our own righteousness, and our contempt of others; but a humble heart is contrary to both of these. 18:11 3 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men [are], extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
(3) Although we confess that whatever we have, we have it from God, yet we are despised by God as proud and arrogant if we put even the least trust in our own works before God. 18:13 And the publican, standing e afar off, would not lift up so much as [his] eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
(e) Far from the Pharisee in a lower place. 18:15 f And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: 4 but when [his] disciples saw [it], they rebuked them.
(f) The children were tender and young in that they were brought, which appears more evidently in that they were infants. (Ed.) (4) To judge or think of Christ after the reason of the flesh is the cause of infinite corruptions. 18:16 5 But Jesus g called them [unto him], and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
(5) The elect children of the faithful are included in the free covenant of God. (Ed.) 18:17 6 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.
(g) Those that carried the children, whom the disciples drove away.
(6) Childlike innocence is an ornament of Christians. 18:21 7 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.
(7) The enticement of riches carries many away from the right way. 18:24 8 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
(8) To be both rich and godly is a singular gift of God. 18:29 9 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of Gods sake,
(9) They become the richest of all who do not refuse to be poor for Christs sake. 18:31 10 Then he took [unto him] the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.
18:34 And they understood h none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.
(10) As sure and certain as persecution is, so sure is the glory which remains for the conquerors.
(h) By this we see how ignorant the disciples were. 18:35 11 And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging:
18:39 12 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.
(11) Christ shows by a visible miracle that he is the light of the world.
(12) The more snares and hindrances that Satan lays in our way, even by those who profess Christs name, so much the more ought we to go forward.