Drama: Unjust

Here is a modern retelling of Luke 18:1-8, Jesus’ parable of the judge and the persistent widow. It was written by Bob Snook. For a printer-friendly copy, click on the download button above.

Unjust: The Parable of the Persistent Widow

Narrator:  One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.

Judge: (enters wearing black robe, crosses to podium, pounds gavel) This court is now in session. Anyone having business before this court, draw near and be heard.

Widow: (enters carrying a armful of legal briefs) Your honor, I have business before this court.

Judge: (sigh) You again.

Widow:  Yes, your honor. There has been a grave injustice perpetrated upon my person and I demand justice.

Judge: Why do you persist in wasting the court’s time? I have already given my decision in your case.

Widow:  You gave a decision, but justice was not served.

Judge:  So, you brought another truck load of legal motions?

Widow:  (smiles) Yes, your honor. I think you’re going to like these. I worked on them all night last night. I’m sure that one of them will right the wrong that has been done.

Judge:  My good woman, as I….

Widow:  I am not your “good woman.” My name is Ethel Goldstein. I am simply a poor, helpless….

Judge:  Alright, alright! You may be poor, but you’re far from helpless. I get the point, Mrs Goldstein. But your name in no way influences the facts of this case.

Widow:  The facts of this case are that my husband died, leaving me childless. And now, because I am a childless widow, I am being treated as a second class citizen.

Judge:  But in Israel a childless widow IS a second class citizen, Mrs Goldstein.

Widow:  That is unjust and you know it.

Judge:  Just or not, that is the law of the land. We have been over this time and time again, Mrs Goldstein…

Widow:  You have the power to make this right, your honor. I’m not asking for the law of the land. I am asking for justice. Maurice Greenbaum stole my land from me and…

Judge:  Maurice Greenbaum paid your back taxes. The land is rightfully his.

Widow:  I have crops in the fields that could pay the taxes. All I’m asking for is a chance to hire someone to harvest the crops and sell them for me so I can pay the taxes.

Judge:  I have already ruled on that motion, Mrs Goldstein, and the answer was NO.

Widow: Then, I have another motion. (hands one of the legal briefs to Judge)

Judge:  What’s this one? (opens brief)

Widow:  This is a writ of habius corpus.

Judge: Habius Corpus?! Habius Corpus is a motion to have someone released from jail. What….

Widow:  Since you have stripped by of all my rights, I am a prisoner of the system. I…

Judge: (gavel) Motion denied.

Widow:  (hands Judge another brief) In that case, I have another motion.

Judge:  (sigh) What’s this one? (opens brief)

Widow:  This is a motion denying transfer of the land to that crook Maurice Greenbaum on environmental grounds.

Judge:  Oh, brother. I can hardly wait to hear the arguments for this.

Widow:  There is an endangered species living on my land and…

Judge:  Wait a minute. Endangered species? What endangered species?

Widow:  My dog.

Judge:  A dog is not an endangered species.

Widow:  Mine is.

Judge:  What kind is it?

Widow:  It’s a mutt and I’ve never seen another one like it.

Judge:  (gavel) Motion denied.

Widow:  (hands Judge another brief) In that case, I enter this motion to turn my property into a provincial park with me as the caretaker.

Judge:  (gavel) Motion denied.

Widow:  (hands Judge another brief) In that case, I enter this motion to turn my property into a national park.

Judge:  (gavel) Motion denied.

Widow:  (hands Judge another brief) In that case, I enter this motion to turn my property into a national monument.

Judge:  Motion…. Wait a minute. A monument?! To what?

Widow:  My husband. He was a really great guy. You would have loved him. I was thinking of erecting a bronze statue….

Judge:  (gavel) Motion denied.

Widow:  In that case, you leave me no choice. (hands Judge another brief) I hereby petition the court to have my property…

Judge:  It’s Maurice Greenbaum’s property and you have until noon tomorrow to vacate….

Widow:  Hereafter, I shall refer to my property as the “afore mentioned property.” And I petition the court to have the transfer of the afore mentioned property delayed until such time
as the criminal charges against Maurice Greenbaum have been adjudicated.

Judge:  Criminal charges?! What criminal charges?

Widow:  The petition clearly states that the afore mentioned property is evidence in a criminal complaint filed by a poor unfortunate widow who was ruthlessly robbed of her property…

Judge:  (gavel) Motion denied.

Widow:  You didn’t let me finish.

Judge:  Yes, I did. You just finished. (gavel) Motion denied.

Widow:  (hands Judge another brief) In that case, I petition you to recuse yourself as the judge on this case.

Judge:  Recuse myself? Why would I want to disqualify myself from hearing this case? On what grounds?

Widow:  On the grounds that Maurice Greenbaum is your wife’s brother.

Judge:  That has nothing to do with this case. (looks around, softly) How did you find out about that?

Widow:  I overheard you talking to that thief Maurice Greenbaum out in the hallway. No wonder I can’t get any justice in this court.

Judge:  (gavel) Motion denied.

Widow: Fine. (turns to exit) I’ll see you tomorrow.

Judge:  Tomorrow?

Widow:  (turns back) Yes, I’ll be here first thing tomorrow with about a dozen new motions. We still have not explored eminent domain, illegal search and seizure, abridgement of free
speech, the many aspects of due process of law. Then, of course, there’s the appeals process, where I start all over again….

Judge:  Alright! Alright!

Widow:  Excuse me?

Judge:  You can keep your stupid farm. Maury and I can find another piece of property to build our vineyard on. Go! Go! Get out of my court room! I never want to see you again!

Widow:  Let’s get this straight. You’re giving me back my property?

Judge:  Yes. But only if you promised never to come back here again. Now out! Get out! (shaking gavel at her). I don’t want to see or hear from you ever again.

Widow:  I’m going already. I’m going.

Narrator:  Learn a lesson from this crooked judge. Even though he was dishonest and selfish, he acted justly toward the poor widow in the end. If such a man can act with justice toward the poor, don’t you think God will defend and protect those who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? No, I tell you: he will grant justice to them quickly! But here’s the question: how much of that kind of persistent faith will the Son of Man find on earth when he returns?

Unjust was written by Bob Snook, and posted on SermonCentral. It has been adapted slightly from the original.  Copyright © 2001 Bob Snook. Conditions for use: Do not sell any part of this script, even if you rewrite it. Pay no royalties, even if you make money from performances. You may reproduce and distribute this script freely, but all copies must contain this copyright statement. Email:


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