In these three seemingly unrelated short passages, Jesus offers us a glimpse into his observations and dialogue in the Temple, just days before his arrest. If we take a step back, we can see how Jesus holds the tension of contrasts and witness him untangling motives from actions.
Where does God's extravagant love compel us to action? And what does that loving action look like to God? and to the world?
Mark 12:35-44 (MSG)
While he was teaching in the Temple, Jesus asked, “How is it that the religion scholars say that the Messiah is David’s ‘son,’ when we all know that David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said,
God said to my Master,
“Sit here at my right hand
until I put your enemies under your feet.”
“David here designates the Messiah ‘my Master’—so how can the Messiah also be his ‘son’?”
The large crowd was delighted with what they heard.
38-40 He continued teaching. “Watch out for the religion scholars. They love to walk around in academic gowns, preening in the radiance of public flattery, basking in prominent positions, sitting at the head table at every church function. And all the time they are exploiting the weak and helpless. The longer their prayers, the worse they get. But they’ll pay for it in the end.”
41-44 Sitting across from the offering box, he was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins—a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, “The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all.”
For reflection and prayer:
As you listened, was there a word, a phrase, an image, or something else that stood out to you? Notice what it stirs in you. Have a conversation with Jesus about this.
What do you notice about Jesus in this passage? Is there anything about him which increases your desire to draw closer to him? To lean and listen in?
How do you feel about Jesus seeing you, observing you, knowing your motives? Can you have a conversation with him about how you feel? What does he say to you in return?
Take a moment to savor with Jesus, a time when his extravagant love compelled you to action in ways unseen or misunderstood to the world.