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Confronting the Scribes
And the large crowd was listening to him with delight. As he taught, he said, "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows' houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation." He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on."
The Widows Mite
Jesus is in the Temple. Mark captures the scene: “the large crowd was listening to him with delight.” They relished his teaching and the way in which he dealt with verbal trouble makers.
He warns his listeners to beware of those who parade their religious beliefs, demand respect and social position, promote themselves. “They devour widows’ houses…” a devastating criticism. Beware of those for whom religion has become a business, a tool for personal gain.
Finally, he sits down at the treasury and observes those putting in their offering. Some are large. Then, his eye is caught by the offering of a poor widow, just two small coins, all she possessed. "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury.”
Generosity is not measured by the size of the gift but by the heart that gives. “The only gift that matters is the gift of the heart to God.” All religious values lie in the intention.
This is the Story of Jesus drawn from the four Evangelists
Gospel passages accompanied by a number of brief commentaries