Luke 18:8 What does this passage mean?

Title says it all. I don’t get what Jesus meant by saying about the faith at His coming again. I mean I understand the wording just can’t get a grip of the meaning of those words. Please help!

1 Like

@bossteb thank you for this question. I love this parable in Luke 18. What we see here is Jesus telling us a story to teach us that we should not give up in our prayer life. We should persist until we see the breakthrough :raised_hands:

He then closes the parable with the seemingly out of place rhetorical question.

"Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

We learn in the next verse who his audience was:

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt.

It seems this Luke 18:8 is a warning to these people and everybody reading the text since that he requires faith. At the very basic level this is faith to believe in him for salvation.

By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8)

I would go on to presume that it is the kind of faith the widow had that really pleased Jesus. The kind of faith that does not waver or give up. The kind of faith referred to in James 1:6-8.

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.


Dear Brian thank you for taking your time and your thorough answer. Though I have to admit my wanting to find the meaning of those Jesus’ words is not fully satisfied.

I see Jesus talking about widow’s perseverence not her faith. And reading the previous chapter I assume this statement about lack of faith Jesus told to his disciples. The next verse is more of a prologue to the parable that follows than the previous one.

I am a stubborn guy and not a very humble for that matter. I’m really thankful for your reply. May God bless you!


@bossteb I think @brianlalor said it well. If we remember our Bible history, Noah was literally the only faithful head of a family left before the flood and often in Israel only a remnant was left that truly followed God. Jesus is offering a challenge to His listeners to be the kind of people who keep obeying God even when facing injustice or when God seems distant. The reference to Jesus’ return highlights that there would be a significant period of time, at least from a human perspective, between Jesus’ ascension and His return. Would Jesus find faithful people when He returned? It is a rhetorical question meant to challenge His listeners to remain faithful through whatever trials / tribulation might come.

Like the persistent widow, we should not stop asking God to restore justice and righteousness to the earth even when we are in the midst of great injustice. The Lord is not slow concerning His promise!

2 Peter 3:8-10 - But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

The Son of Man is looking for those who continue to believe in him, despite the wait.

1 Like

Thank you SeanO for your insight. I agree with you both. I too have a feeling the question that Jesus poses is a rhetorical one but it is the thing that vexes me most.

Is it really just a rhetorical question that shows us all the history and the path of rebellious humanity we’re on (nowadays even more than in time of Jesus’ earthly life) or is it something we should try to understand? Why is it so important that it has a place in the Holy Bible and what is the purpose of its message?

I know I am overly complicating things and I am so glad the LORD also teaches us to walk humbly before Him and acknowledge our limitations of understanding Him. I always turn to Isa 55:8-9

8“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
and your ways are not my ways.”
This is the Lord’s declaration.
9“For as heaven is higher than earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

and am just thankful that God allows me to see Him in light of understanding He gave me.

Also love this verse Prov. 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding;
in all your ways know him,
and he will make your paths straight.