Mark 12 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“Sitting across from the temple treasury, He watched how the crowd dropped money into the treasury. Many rich people were putting in large sums. And a poor widow came and dropped in two tiny coins worth very little. Summoning His disciples, He said to them, ‘I assure you: This poor widow has put in more than those giving to the temple treasury. For they all gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she possessed – all she had to live on.’” Mark 12:41-44
Throughout Mark 12 and the beginning of chapter 13 are a series of teachings, forming a continuous thought, concerning money and the heart.
Perhaps, the most endearing teaching is the account of Yeshua’s recognition & honoring of a poor widow, as she presented her offering in the temple. It is worth noting that Yeshua was watching the crowd as they gave their money. He wasn’t just in the proximity of the offering box; He was watching intently. So much so, that Yeshua noticed even the smallest of offerings.
Messiah’s notice of the widow’s offering adds to the urgency of His warning against the Scribes, “They devour widows’ houses and say long prayers just for show.” Mark 12:40
Yeshua’s observation of the widow is closely-tied to His quoting of the Shema, earlier in Mark 12. “Listen Israel! The L_rd our G_d, the L_rd is ONE. Love the L_rd your G_d with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and all your strength.” Mark 12:29-30.
This widow was living-out the Shema, while the Scribes were only rendering lip service. She was believing G_d with all that she had & was, for His glory. The Scribes were exploiting all she had, to bring glory to themselves.
Sadly, the religious leaders, those whose job it was to exemplify the Shema, had chosen to ignore Yeshua’s exhortation, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to G_d the things that are G_d’s.” Mark 12:17 In coveting the things of Caesar, they robbed G_d of His most cherished offering: themselves.
Given what the “shepherds of Israel” had become, is it any wonder Messiah predicted the temple’s destruction at the beginning of Mark 13?
Let us always remember that Yeshua intently watches our “offerings”, whether they be offerings of money, time or talent. As G_d is One, let us each worship Him “singularly”, that is: wholly & completely.
~Steve Wiggins, Assistant Rabbi
Daily Devotional, Wednesday, May 29, 2013