Our Source of Living-Mark 12:38-44

Mark 12:38-44 “As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, 39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.” 41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. 
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything — all she had to live on.”
Marco 12:38-44 “Nel suo insegnamento egli diceva: «Guardatevi dagli scribi, che amano passeggiare in lunghe vesti, i saluti nelle piazze, 39 i primi seggi nelle sinagoghe e i primi posti nei conviti; 40 che divorano le case delle vedove e fanno lunghe preghiere per mettersi in mostra. Costoro riceveranno una maggiore condanna». 41 E Gesù sedutosi di fronte alla cassa delle offerte, guardava come la gente metteva denaro nella cassa; molti ricchi ne mettevano assai. 42 Venuta una povera vedova, vi mise due spiccioli che fanno un quarto di soldo. 43 Gesù, chiamati a sé i suoi discepoli, disse loro: «In verità io vi dico che questa povera vedova ha messo nella cassa delle offerte più di tutti gli altri: 44 poiché tutti vi hanno gettato del loro superfluo, ma lei, nella sua povertà, vi ha messo tutto ciò che possedeva, tutto quanto aveva per vivere».
     There are two scenes that need to be linked together here. The first one involves Jesus condemning the teachers of the law for their showmanship and the other one deals with Jesus commending a widow for her genuine sincerity. The first group relished their title and places of honor in both public and religious settings. The poor widow just wanted to be faithful in her Passover contribution and even though it was small, it was still at great sacrifice to her. As teachers of the law, the first group was not given a wage so they went about trying to extort their living from others by advertising their spirituality and extracting money from the weak and vulnerable in the society. By this means, they made a good living. Jesus condemns their ostentatious behavior as hypocritical.  
     What a contrast to this poor widow! Notice that Jesus says, “…this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.” How could His listeners even figure out this type of math? Anyone would have questioned this statement. But Jesus then proceeds to show what He meant. The poor widow gave all that she had to live on. Proportionally, her giving was far superior than the “large amounts” that the rich with financially large pockets gave and would never be affected. It was her sacrificial giving to God that showed everyone that she completely trusted in God to provide for her needs.
Pray with me: Lord, I look at the contrast of these two cases and the message from Jesus. I sometimes see myself living on both sides. Help me to live my life always knowing that whatever provision I have been given, ultimately, You are my source.

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