Wednesday, February 22, 2012

All She had

Mark 12:41-44 (ESV)
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."

Sometimes I wish theses scriptures weren’t artificially broken up into chapters. Then you might get a different impression as to what Jesus sees here. I remember going to college and Rod Rosenbladt telling us in theology class that since we weren’t making any money, living off loans, and so forth we really shouldn’t be obligated to tithe even if tithing was prescribed. Reading the old testament by the way, one will find it wasn’t everyone who tithed. The patriarch of the family was in charge of doing those things, not the servants. In fact, half the reason God mandated one of his tithes was to make sure that the rich people threw a BBQ for the poorer people once a year and had them come to Jerusalem to be blessed by the temple worship. “there were actually more than one tithe mandated in the Old Testament. Of course we have the IRS exacting most of that from us now.
That is the problem here. This poor woman has been guilt tripped into giving what she does have to the temple and the rich people are holding back when they ought to be giving money to her as well as to the temple. It was this sort of thing Jesus speaks of in the previous verse, and it is this episode that gets him to tell his disciples about the destruction of the temple.
Nevertheless, Jesus is fond of this woman for what she has done. He praises her.

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