Jesus’ Teaching

Mark 12:35-44
³⁵And Jesus began to say, as He taught in the temple, “How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?
³⁶David himself said in the Holy Spirit, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Until I put Your enemies beneath Your feet.”‘
³⁷David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; so in what sense is He his son?” And the large crowd enjoyed listening to Him.

³⁸In His teaching He was saying: “Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and like respectful greetings in the market places, ³⁹and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets, ⁴⁰who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation.”

The Widow’s Mite
⁴¹And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums.
⁴²A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent.
⁴³Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; ⁴⁴for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.”

Jesus has in mind the salvation of everyone. That is why He warns the Pharisees as well as the people

Even though none of those who fought Jesus dared to ask Him further questions (Mark 12:34), Jesus still has one on his part (Mark 12:35-37).

With His question to the Pharisees (Compare Matthew 22:41) he wanted to work on the conscience of his fiercest opponents.
It was just a little thing for them to trace his origins, and things like that. His birth certificate was in Bethlehem, the city of David. Their unwillingness and prejudice must have been exposed by His question.

Many people knew very well Who He was, and from Whom He descended (John 7:40-44). That the teachers of religion denied, disputed, ignored and contested His real identity, had everything to do with their positions of power.
Their grip on the people loosened wherever Jesus made disciples.

They do not dare answer His question.
Moreover, they do not want to answer it.
For then they would have to think seriously about Jesus’ double lineage: from David as well as from the LORD (See also Romans 1:3,4).

Jesus then takes this attitude of his opponents, who silently left the scene, as the starting point for serious warnings to the people. “Beware of them,” it sounds (Compare Matthew 23).

The old, lonely, sometimes rich widows – women who had been through a lot and who were vulnerable in society – were the most poignant victims of this Pharisee attitude of life full of hypocrisy and greed (Mark 12:40).
The very ones who were entitled to protection and comfort did not receive it!
The commandment of Exodus 22:22, “You shall not mistreat widows and orphans,” was broken (See also James 1:27).

Perhaps that is why Jesus deliberately chooses a penniless widow as an example of true, sincere religion (Mark 12:41-44). She was devoted to God with heart and soul and body (Cf. Mark 12:30). She sacrificed the entire contents of her wallet, even though it contained very little.

This is still a great example for us to follow!

Question

▪︎ What is the basis for the poor widow’s attitude? (Compare 2 Corinthians 8:1-5)

Prayer suggestions

▪︎ Thank God for your knowledge of Jesus and His grace.

Twitter: @SchoemakerHarry
Website 1: https://devotionals.harryschoemaker.nl
Website 2: http://bijbelplaatjes.nl

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