Parables of Jesus

Parables

Parables of life

Common parable names:

- The friend at midnight.
- The inopportune friend.

Summary

The friend at midnight

From the Gospel of Luke Chapter 11, Verses 5.13

Then he said to them: "If one of you has a friend and at midnight he goes to him and says," Friend, lend me three loaves, because a friend has come to me from a trip and I have nothing to offer him ", and if the one from the inside he replies: "Don't bother me, the door is already closed, my children and I are in bed, I can't get up to give you the loaves", I tell you that, even if you don't get up to give them to him because he is his friend, at least for his intrusiveness he will rise up to give him as many as he needs. Well, I say to you: ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you. "Among you, if the son asks him for a fish, will he give him a snake instead of fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he give him a scorpion? If you then, being bad, know how to give good things to your children, how much more?" your heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!".

Parable Luke exegesis

At the beginning of Chapter 11, after reporting the teaching of the "Our Father", Luke continues this parable to reveal to us the need for perseverance in prayer to be heard by God. A wayfarer, to avoid the heat of the day, travels after the setting of the sun and arrives at the friend's house at midnight, which at that hour had nothing to feed him, since in Palestine it was not in use to stock up on bread for several days (every morning only that much was cooked that was enough for the day). Taken a back, he in turn goes to a friend of his, hoping he has advanced: "Friend, lend me three loaves, because a friend has come to me from a trip and I have nothing to offer him". The response of this friend is very hard, he is irritated by being disturbed in his sleep: "I don't bother, the door is already closed, my children and I are in bed, I can't get up to give you the bread".

But Jesus amazes everyone by saying that if the latter does not decide to give them to him in a gesture of friendship, in the end he will get up to give him as many as he needs to put at least an end to the intrusiveness, to the annoyance that his friend is giving him with his insistent request in the middle of the night. Finally, Jesus suggests to imitate, in asking God for the graces we need, the opportunity of this man: "ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you". The trust we must place in God is based on his quality as a Father: as a Father he will not be able to deny himself, nor give us a useless thing, much less a harmful thing, because if the evil man knows how to give good things to his children, God will not certainly fail to give the best possible to those who ask him with the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit, which is the most excellent of gifts and must constitute the main object of the prayer of the disciples of Jesus.

This parable exhorts us to a courageous prayer, to a faith without hesitation, as the Jewish proverb remembers: "The unfortunate wins the bad one, the more God infinitely do". The first condition for prayer is the awareness of our own miseries, the recognition that we need Him as we need the air we breathe. God invites us to pray, that is, to entertain a fruitful conversation with Him. Certainly, to pray implies confessing our weakness, poverty, powerlessness, need, dependence; but then faith gives us that unshakable certainty of being heard: in fact, if man is moved by the needs of a friend or child, the more God-Father will plunge into helping his fragile creatures. Only God can fill the heart of man. He gives us "much more than we can ask or think" (Eph 3:20): he gives himself to each according to his desire; in fact the only measure of the gift is given by our desire: those who want little, receive little; who wants everything, receives everything. We must ask, not because He ignores our need, but because the gift can only be received by those who want it and call it, because in the very act of asking it is inherent the recognition that only He can infuse the necessary help. In fact, no one will ever ask the one who does not think he can solve the given problem. This passage urges us to desire big and insistently, which will enable us to receive the Holy Spirit.

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