Learning from THE LEAST

Many in the Church wallow in their ostentation yet, as John McLaughlan shows us, there is much we can all learn from the poor widow

We read in the latter part of Mark 11 and in Mark 12 that Jesus had dealings on that particular day with religious leaders, some of whom tried to trap Him in His teaching so as to discredit Him in the eyes of the common people. But there was also one scribe who after asking Jesus a question about the “first commandment of all” (Mark 12:28) was commended by Jesus as being “not far from the kingdom of God” (Mark 12:34). Jesus next turned the tables on the religious leaders by questioning them about the identity of the Messiah (Mark 12:35-37). Finally He concludes His teaching by warning the common people about the hypocrisy of the scribes (Mark 12:38-40). Immediately after this we are told the story of the “poor widow” and the offering that she put into the temple treasury. 

Jesus saw the Rich and the Poor 

We are told that Jesus “sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury” (Mark 12:41) while Luke 21:1 informs us that “He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury” . So, it appears that after a long and testing day Jesus sat down and watched the rich making a great display of their giving to the temple. The collecting boxes that were used were called ‘The Trumpets’ because they were shaped like trumpets and any money dropped into them made a sound that could be heard by anyone in the vicinity: The more coins given then the louder the sound. Jesus watched how the rich put their money into these trumpets in such a way that all could hear how rich and generous they were. Jesus had spent His day dealing with such people and this final display of their hypocrisy summed up the true standing of the religious leadership of that time. 

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