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?
March 27, 2018 at 5:58 am
Jesus commended the lawyer based on what he said and he commended the poor widow based on what she did. I believe Jesus saw their hearts (the lawyer was beginning to better understand the kingdom of God based on his wise response and for the widow to throw in all she had there was a sense of her trusting God to live. It shows that what we say and do could be a ‘possible’ indication that we are indeed drawing closer to God. It’s very important for us to examine our hearts (identity) for us to know why we do what we do.
March 27, 2018 at 11:22 am
Well said Duane. (smiley face). The only thing I would add is the need to DO, act on what we know (Luke 6:46-49). Hopefully the teacher did so while the widow did so magnificently.
March 27, 2018 at 7:07 am
In both instances Jesus knew the intentions of there hearts. Many had asked questions of Jesus to trap Him. But Jesus knew the teachers real motive for asking so He commended him. The heart and faith of the widow was evident in her gift and was commended.
Search me O God and know my thoughts.
March 27, 2018 at 12:57 pm
The world can judge you by making comparison to others. In the case of the widow, a statistical approach could have worked out the average giving by all persons, and then used that value to determine the significance of giving by the widow. However, in the scale of God comparative giving is not used as the yardstick God’s assessment is based on absolute measure, where the only standard is the person. What is within the potential of everyone of us. God knows if we are short changing him.
March 28, 2018 at 9:35 pm
In both cases, Jesus knew exactly what was in their hearts/minds so nothing surprised him. He was able to point out that the lawyer was not ‘far from the kingdom’ and he also knew that the poor widow was making, as it were, the ultimate sacrifice as she was giving her all— what her very life depended on.