32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions. (Mark 12:32 – 34)
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 few cents. 43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, 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.” (Mark 12:41 – 44)
During Passion Week, the tension between Jesus and his detractors increased dramatically. Jesus was more vocal about His identity and purpose, and the religious establishment intensified their opposition. While Jesus was very critical of the teachers of the law in Mark 12, He commended two people: 1) a teacher of the law, and 2) a poor widow. It is worth reflecting on what endeared these two individuals to Jesus.
Please prayerfully reflect on the Bible passages above.
Something to think about:
With the specter of the cross looming, Jesus takes the time for commendations. What was so special about the commended teacher of the law and the poor widow?