Bible stories : The Parable of the Friend at Night? The characters in the story are a villager who is in bed with his family at midnight and a neighbor with a need. Hospitality was a strictly observed custom in the Middle East, and a man caught without bread for a visitor would be in a shameful and desperately needy position. Only such a need would drive a man to his neighbor’s house at midnight. And only such a need would drive the man to this level of persistence. The Greek word translated “boldness” in the NIV and “persistence” in the NASB implies impudence and audacity. This is what Jesus is saying should be our attitude as we approach the throne of grace—a confident boldness that persists in pursuing God until He grants us mercy and grace (Hebrews 4:16).
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?
The question itself is quite long and extends from verse 5 through verse 7: NKJ Luke 11:5-7 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves [ἄρτος, bread or loaf of bread]; 6 for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you ‘?” Discover even more information with the The Parable of the Friend at Night video on YouTube.
The intention of the two parables are identical. Here it is clear that Jesus could not be comparing the heavenly Father with the wicked judge. Note in verse 7, Jesus said that the response of the heavenly Father will be different. It will be quick as He is more than willing to help us. Do we feel that God does not like to answer our prayers and has to be shaken out of His reluctance by our persistent prayers? This is not so. Verse 13 is clear that God wants to give us good things. Do you feel ashamed to ask God for certain things because they are not “spiritual” things? For example, do you feel shy to ask God for a life partner? Some people feel that God does not like to be bothered with our request and therefore would “waste” His time only with the major and spiritual things. These people are shy to present requests that they consider trivial. If you feel this way, please change your attitude today. Write down all those things you have been shy to ask God for and start asking for them.