Mark 12:35-44


The Lord said to my lord. Psalm 110:1, With David being the Psalmist, this shows his respect for his descendant (referred to as my Lord). Jesus was arguing that the passage is about the Lord’s anointed. The passage looks at an enthronement of his descendant and a declaration of honor for him as he takes his place at the side of God. In Jerusalem, the king’s palace was located to the right of the temple to indicate this kind of relationship. Jesus was pressing the language here to get his opponents to reflect on how great the Messiah is. It was a common belief in Judaism that the Messiah would be David’s son coming from the lineage of David. On this point the Pharisees agreed and were correct. But their understanding was shallow, since for the Messiah to be David’s Lord, he had to be God! With this statement Jesus was affirming that, as the Messiah, he is both Lord God and man. Revelation 21:22.


Notice the things they like, have nothing to do with what makes them who they are; The Law. Long robes, public greetings, best seats in worship, honorable positions in feasts, property & lengthy prayers. Does the Law say anything about the length of a prayer?  Nehemiah 9:5-38 contains the longest prayer in all of Scripture, and it can be read aloud with expression in less than seven minutes. The longest recorded prayer of Jesus is in John 17, and can be read in about 3 ½ minutes. However he repeatedly asked his disciples to spend an hour in prayer, and it’s recorded more than once that he spent the entire night in prayer. So what was so bad about the lengthy prayers of Scribes? See Luke 18:10-14, and remember why The Spirit preserved James 3:1 for us today.

A CONTRAST IN GIVING, v41-44The offering box refers to the receptacles in the temple forecourt by the Court of Women used to collect freewill offerings. These are mentioned by Josephus, J. W. 5.5.2 (5.200); 6.5.2 (6.282); Ant. 19.6.1 (19.294). In the Mishnah, Shekalim 6, 5 (the only written evidence of the Jewish oral Law) it says there were 13 of these receptacles in the form of trumpets. The poor widow was certainly poor, because the two small copper coins were lepta (plural) or lepton (singular) the smallest and least valuable coins in circulation in Palestine, worth 1/128 of a denarius, or about six minutes of an average daily wage. This was next to nothing in monetary value. Whereas the rich people were throwing lots of money into the ‘trumpets’ and looked liberal in their free-will offerings. In appearance it was very valuable, but being “rich”, they obviously had money to spare. The contrast between this passage v41-44 and what was just written before in 11:15-18 is remarkable. The woman is set in stark contrast to the religious leaders. She was a poor widow, they were rich. She was uneducated in the law, they were well educated in the law. She was a woman, they were men. But they were not showing faith and actually stole money from God and men, 11:17, she evidenced great faith and gave out of her extreme poverty everything she had. The disciples accepted that Jesus knew the widow was giving everything she had to live on. They didn’t question a hidden investment she may have had because the contrast before their very eyes was enough to convince them that her faith was genuine and the rich people’s faith was at best shallow, and at worst absent. This teaches us that Jesus is not interested in the percentage of our giving, he is most interested in the faith of our giving!

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