Jesus implies that his parable of the persistent widow will have particular relevance in the end times, when Christians will be called to night and day prayer to bring about God's justice on earth. In the account of the wealth ruler, Jesus speaks about rewards for Christians, both in this age and in the age to come.
Parable of the Persistent Widow (v1-8)
In this parable, the widow represents a Christian who has been wronged and cries out for justice. The judge represents God. The judge is described as neither fearing God nor respecting people. Jesus' point is not that God is like that, but simply to emphasise the necessity of the widow's perseverance. This teaching on the need for perseverance in prayer has relevance to all times. However, Jesus deliberately connects it to his second coming in verse 8, implying that it will especially have relevance in the end-times. He asks, "when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" This is a rhetorical question that implies many will have fallen away from faith. Elsewhere, this falling away is specifically stated as an end-time sign (Matthew 24:10-12, 2 Thessalonians 2:3). Jesus draws the following points out of this parable:

1) Christians will especially need to persevere in prayer in the end times
2) He calls Christians to 'day and night prayer' (v7)
3) At that time, we will no longer have to wait long for God's justice. It will come speedily (v7-8)
4) We will need to hold on firmly to our faith (v8b)

According to Revelation 5:8, 8:3-4 and 22:17, the prayers of the saints play an important role in the release of the seal and trumpet judgments, and in ushering in the second coming. These judgments release God's justice at a time when the Antichrist and his end-time empire will be persecuting and killing many Christians and Jews (Daniel 7:25, 12:7, Revelation 13:7). During the Great Tribulation, verses 7-8 may become a great call to prayer to Christians, "Won’t God give justice to his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he delay long to help them? I tell you, he will give them justice speedily". In Matthew 25:1-13, the parable of the virgins suggests the importance of Christians being alert and ready for action, day and night, during the end times. Isaiah 62:1-7 makes Jerusalem an important focus of end-time prayer.

The Wealthy Ruler (v18-30)
This story is not specifically end-time focussed. However it provokes Peter to say, "Look, we have left everything we own to follow you!" (v28). Its context implies Peter is asking the question, "Will we be saved?" Jesus replies in verses 29 to 30, "I tell you the truth, there is no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of God’s kingdom who will not receive many times more in this age – and in the age to come, eternal life". Some Christians misinterpret this to imply that Jesus is promising material wealth and prosperity in the present age. In context, Jesus has just told the wealthy ruler to sell all his possessions, give the money to the poor so that he will have treasure in heaven, and then to come and follow him (v22). So when he says in verse 30 that we will receive many times more in this present age, he is not talking about material possessions. Rather, he is talking about rewards that money cannot buy, qualities like forgiveness, peace, love, fulfilment and purpose in life. In the age to come, we will not only be saved, but have additional rewards or treasure to look forward to. The treasure in heaven may well include material possessions. It is evident from several of Jesus' parables that they will also include promotions of responsibility as Christians reign with Jesus in the age to come.

Symbols: Widow, Judge, Treasure
Tags: End-time prayer, Day and night prayer, Perseverance, Justice, Judgments and rewards, Life after death, Treasure, Money
Prayer and the Parable of the Persistent Widow
18 Then Jesus told them a parable to show them they should always pray and not lose heart.
2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected people.
3 There was also a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’
4 For a while he refused, but later on he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor have regard for people,
5 yet because this widow keeps on bothering me, I will give her justice, or in the end she will wear me out by her unending pleas.’”
6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unrighteous judge says!
7 Won’t God give justice to his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he delay long to help them?
8 I tell you, he will give them justice speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

The Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector
9 Jesus also told this parable to some who were confident that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else.
10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed about himself like this: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: extortionists, unrighteous people, adulterers – or even like this tax collector.
12 I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.’
13 The tax collector, however, stood far off and would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, be merciful to me, sinner that I am!’
14 I tell you that this man went down to his home justified rather than the Pharisee. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Jesus and Little Children
15 Now people were even bringing their babies to him for him to touch. But when the disciples saw it, they began to scold those who brought them.
16 But Jesus called for the children, saying, “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
17 I tell you the truth, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

The Wealthy Ruler
18 Now a certain leader asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
19 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.
20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’”
21 The man replied, “I have wholeheartedly obeyed all these laws since my youth.”
22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
23 But when the man heard this he became very sad, for he was extremely wealthy.
24 When Jesus noticed this, he said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!
25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 Those who heard this said, “Then who can be saved?”
27 He replied, “What is impossible for mere humans is possible for God.”
28 And Peter said, “Look, we have left everything we own to follow you!
29 Then Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, there is no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of God’s kingdom
30 who will not receive many times more in this age – and in the age to come, eternal life.”

Another Prediction of Jesus’ Passion
31 Then Jesus took the twelve aside and said to them, “Look, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished.
32 For he will be handed over to the Gentiles; he will be mocked, mistreated, and spat on.
33 They will flog him severely and kill him. Yet on the third day he will rise again.”
34 But the twelve understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what Jesus meant.

Healing a Blind Man
35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road begging.
36 When he heard a crowd going by, he asked what was going on.
37 They told him, “Jesus the Nazarene is passing by.”
38 So he called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
39 And those who were in front scolded him to get him to be quiet, but he shouted even more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
40 So Jesus stopped and ordered the beggar to be brought to him. When the man came near, Jesus asked him,
41 “What do you want me to do for you?” He replied, “Lord, let me see again.”
42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.”
43 And immediately he regained his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they too gave praise to God.