Sunday, September 22, 2013

Daily Gospel Devotional 2013: An example of abuse

Mark 12:41-44 / Luke 21:1-4…

In examining this event, we must remember the context. Jesus had just pronounced condemnation against the religious leaders. He was about to pronounce judgment against the temple. In between we see Him speaking to His disciples about the giving of the people.

Certainly we see the obvious meaning. Though the rich threw in large sums, it was the widow’s offering that captured Jesus’ attention. It was not the amount the widow gave, but how much she kept back, which was nothing. In that sense the widow gave more proportionately than the rich.

However, Jesus was not simply condemning those who had put in much money. And Jesus was not simply commending the widow who had given it all. He was pointing to what He had just said about the Pharisees (Mark 12:40 / Luke 20:47). This poor woman was an example of how they were exploiting people in the name of ministry. This was against the Law of Moses and the nature of God (Exodus 22:22-24 / Deuteronomy 10:18).

When a religious system would take the last two coins out of a widow’s hand, under the pretense that it pleases God, something is beyond wrong. It is the kind of religious system that does irreparable harm. The religious leaders were abusing the poor. They had invented all sorts of tradition to manipulate the people (Mark 7:11-13). This type of thing was why Jesus was so fired up against the Pharisees. That temple treasury would fall to the ground, and all the trappings of false religion with it. 

Doesn’t this remind you of some in the professing church, who pry the pennies from the poor in the name of faith? They victimize the vulnerable. For all intents and purposes they teach that we can buy a blessing. They promise something they cannot deliver, taking the name of God in vain.

The truth is that Jesus does require us to give it all to Him. But in biblical ways, and that doesn’t necessarily mean a vow of poverty or the promise of prosperity to prop up some other ministry. False religion twists the biblical notion of self-sacrifice into a demonic device.

You see, false teachers really are the greatest danger to Christianity.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

1 comment:

Even So... said...

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