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Mark 12 English Standard Version (ESV)
Beware of the Scribes
38 And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces 39 and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 40 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
The Widow’s Offering
41 And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
- Jesus warned against those teachers of the Law who paraded themselves openly, whose prayers were a pious show, and whose greed was so great they would “devour widow’s houses”. Such men, Jesus said, “will be punished most severely.” For contrast, Jesus praised a woman who freely placed her last coins in the treasury.
- What a study in values. The greedy rich man, who always wanted more, and the poor widow willing to give all. The “great man” viewed with respect by society, and the insignificant woman, held in high regard only by God.
- While you may be neither rich nor poor, you choices are likely to be governed by the values expressed by one of these two. Which of the two will you choose to be most like?