Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Why the biblical parables of the reluctant judge(who cared little for God or mankind) and the two sons(one said "yes" to his father's command and did not comply, the other said "No" and did), unless, technically speaking, faithfulness is to another, not your own pet testimony or social-action cause?!
Or, as Henri Nouwen would have it: You don't think your way into a new kind of living; you live your way into a new kind of thinking.
I'm not sure how you find these are about faithfulness. I see them as a warning against paying attention to common sense or circumstances when you are in need. In both cases Jesus is telling the listener that neither the widow or the prodigal son was deterred by appearances but went ahead and did what was within their power and were rewarded for their actions in spite of the odds against them. However, I might not have correctly understood your question.
James, as partial as I also am to Luke's Gospel, the "Parable of the Two Sons" is found in Matthew 21:28-32. And if "Which of the two did his father's will?" and, in Luke's "Parable of the Persistent Widow", "because this widow keeps bothering me, I will render a just decision" is not faithfulness, albeit reluctant, to love and truth, then we both don't understand what we're putting forth!
I think they are stories of faithfulness but to an inner need whatever the source and of course if that inner need is from God then it should bear fruit or end in success. In the case of the son it's not really persistence so much as desperation. But whether it was the widow's persistence or the son's desperation they did not let the odds of success deter them. So I think the lesson is that if you can be successful in the natural world when the cards appear to be stacked against you how much more can you be successful if you are actually following a God-given leading. If that is the point you are making I agree wholeheartedly.
A point as sharp as a bowling ball, I'm afraid ye say!