The Parable of the Friend at Night video and FREE coloring pages for children? Immediately after teaching the disciples to pray the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus told the story of the neighbor who was in need of bread for a visitor (Luke 11:5-10). The disciples had just asked Him to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1), and the lesson He is teaching through this parable is to be persistent in prayer. This is the first of two parables Jesus uses to drive this concept home—the second is the parable of the persistent widow and the unjust judge in Luke 18:1-8. Paul reiterates this same concept in 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
Perhaps the key term for understanding the meaning of this parable is the word translated persistence in the NKJV. The Greek word is anaídeia, and its meaning is strongly debated by scholars of Biblical Greek. In fact, this debate is reflected in the translation and notes of some of the modern versions. For example, the NASB translates the Greek term anaídeia as persistence, but then it includes a footnote that reads “Lit shamelessness.” On the other hand, the ESV translates to word as impudence, but then includes a footnote that reads “Or, persistence.” So, which is it? Does the word mean something like shamelessness or impudence?
But beyond this simple point, Jesus also ties the question to the preceding context when He describes the man in the story as in need of bread. Notice that Jesus has just taught the disciples how to pray by use of what has come to be known as “The Lord’s Prayer.” And in verse 3 He has said that they should pray, “Give us day by day our daily bread [ἄρτος].” So, in this parable Jesus wants to encourage the disciples not to be afraid to keep asking every day for their daily bread. He wants them to know that they can be confident in seeking God to meet their daily needs. If a friend would get up in the middle of the night to give us bread when we have need, then wouldn’t God also give us our daily bread? Especially since He has commanded us to ask Him daily for it? This is the idea Jesus has in mind, which will become apparent when we go on to examine the answer. Discover additional info with the The Parable of the Friend at Night video on YouTube.
If we look at another parable, we will have no doubt that Jesus is contrasting and not comparing the heavenly Father with the character in the parable. (Luke 18:1-8) Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3 In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ 4 For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.'” 6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8 I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them.