Art: The Persistent Widow or the Unjust Judge

This week’s Gospel lesson (Luke 18:1-8) features only two people engaged in an undefined disagreement. The widow is seeking justice. The judge couldn’t care less about justice but is more interested in clearing his docket.

Story sounds familiar!

Artists have at least four choices: focus your expression of this story on the widow, focus on the judge, focus on the interaction between the two or try to tell the whole story.

Here are examples of each. Unfortunately, I don’t have much background on the artistic sources. But I can provide some links.

Here the persistent widow is shown in humility. She looks troubled, doesn’t she?

widow1So now let’s focus on the judge—the self-centered wielder of power. We all get a little like that when we begin judging others. But when the job goes to someone’s head, as in this story, our meek widow above has little hope. The artist is William J. Webbe, who went by the name W.J. Webb when he illustrated Bible stories. See lower left corner. He lived in 19th century London.

widow3The sketches below are simple but they have a lot of life!

These drawings are by Doris Pritchett. She storyboards the whole story which Jesus told in just a few sentences! They are reproduced from Jesus and Courageous Women: Youth Study by Ann Craig (New York: Women’s Division, General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church). I found them on this web post, now 12 years old.




widow3Our last artistic offering illustrates the end of the parable. We are often tempted to forget the moral of the story!

Jesus wonders if he will find any faithful upon his return!