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Week 10 | Friday | Mark 12:34-44

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This week’s readings are all from Mark chapter 12. Click here to see a full listing of each day’s reading and the full chapter of Mark 12. Full readings of each day’s smaller segments of the readings will be posted on this site during the week.

Today's Reading

While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he said, “How is it that the experts in the law say that the Christ is David’s son? 36 David himself, by the Holy Spirit, said,

The Lord said to my lord,
Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet.”’

37 If David himself calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?” And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.

38 In his teaching Jesus also said, “Watch out for the experts in the law. They like walking around in long robes and elaborate greetings in the marketplaces, 39 and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour widows’ property, and as a show make long prayers. These men will receive a more severe punishment.”

41 Then he sat down opposite the offering box, and watched the crowd putting coins into it. Many rich people were throwing in large amounts. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, worth less than a penny. 43 He called his disciples and said to them, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the offering box than all the others. 44 For they all gave out of their wealth. But she, out of her poverty, put in what she had to live on, everything she had.” (Mark 12:35-44)

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Travis Bruno
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So is Jesus, in a way, pointing out a hiccup in their beliefs that is similar to the kind of trapping the experts have been doing? It just feels like he is able to walk circles around them with this rhetorical question — and that’s the entertaining part for the crowds!

People who just have to live under the authority of the experts and their commands and rules (on top of the Roman occupation), and here is this guy who doesn’t get stumped by their challenges, and even poses something that stumps them! 

I’d probably come to watch that guy, too…

And then it’s like he is devaluing their honor and kind of threatening them, while revealing the other side of truth: the widow. It’s not a new idea to us, at this point, but it shook things up for them! Sacrifice out of a place of need is greater than showy fame and giving from abundance.