Today we are going to look at three different stories as found in Mark 12:35-44:
35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared,
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet.”’
37 David himself calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?” And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.
Jesus Denounces the Scribes
38 As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! 40 They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
The Widow’s Offering
41 He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44 For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
We see in these passages the conclusion of the stories in Mark 12 where different religious leaders come to Jesus, not for real answers, but to test Him and try to trip Him up.
So what we see in conclusion to Mark 12 is three different stories where Jesus puts many of these debates to rest. What we see here in 35-37 Jesus proving to the religious leaders that He is superior to David and the traditions of the people. In this passage, Jesus takes a Psalm and shows how in it David is giving a prophecy of Him. So, even David knows that the Messiah is greater than he is and the Jewish traditions.
David is the icon of what it means to be a great king. And here the great king is saying that the coming Messiah is greater than he. So, if you regard David with authority (which the leaders did) you have to agree that the messiah is superior, and Jesus is the Messiah. So, by their own standards, they should listen to and follow Him. But they don’t.
Then in 38-40 Jesus warns people about following the religious leaders. They really aren’t interesting in following God or leading others to God. They are more interested in their own power and authority.
They aren’t worried about giving glory to God (even they claim to be) they are worried about their own glory and their own power.
This is seen to be true in the last story, 40-44, where the religious leader makes an offering and demands attention for the gift that he is given. That is contrasted with the widow is give out of her poverty, but gives all that she is has.
The widow is not giving for attention or power of anything like that. She’s giving out of devotion to God.
That’s what Jesus is trying to show us. It’s about that love, that devotion, that desire to know and be faithful to God. That’s what the humble followers possess. That’s what the powerful leaders lack.
Today may we desire and have the same type of humble following of Jesus Christ!
Next week we are going to spend a few days in Chapter 13.
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