Summary: What type of attitude should we have in responses to the 2 greatest commandments from God?
Let us continue to worship our God by listening to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from the Gospel of Mark. We will finish chapter 12 today, so please open your Bibles there…
Read along with me Mark 12:38-43….
In 7 verses, our Lord gives both a word of warning and a word of honor.
What is the warning?
There are actually 2 warnings: if we look closely…
v38a: a warning for all people to watch out
v40b: a warning to certain people, who will be punished severely!
What are people to watch out for? Let us note a parallel passage in Matthew 23…
I believe we can actually narrow the warning to people to 2 main things. What are the 2 main things to watch out for in general??
In general, people are to watch out for leaders who are hypocrites and egotistical!
Let us note that in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus called out not only the teachers of the law but also the Pharisees; the warning of Jesus about being punished severely was for leaders; but let us note, that every person will lead someone at some capacity. And so the warning of severe punishment from God apllies to everyone.
Everyone can sin against God with hypocrisy and egotism!
Jesus gives us examples of hypocrisy and egotism in these passages from Mark and Matthew.
And so, we are warned by our Lord Jesus Christ. We are to avoid these sins as much as possible. But let us never forget that, every person always has an opportunity to confess and repent from sins and that Jesus is the answer for all of man’s sins! Jesus Christ, both man and God, died for all of man’s sin but forgiveness will only happen as one believes in Christ as only God and Savior!
Now what about being honored by Jesus Christ?
v43: Jesus gave a word of honor to a poor widow.
Let us note a few things from v41-44:
Does Jesus really care about the amount or the attitude in giving??
In a similar way, do you remember when Cain and Abel went to worship God and both gave a great offering but God was only pleased with Cain?
a. God cares about the attitude in giving to God, not the amount!
Secondly, did Jesus give a word of honor to the woman because she was a poor widow? Again, it was her attitude in giving that was honored by Jesus! Now, what can we say about her attitude when out of her poverty she gave everything??
b. The poor widow gave everything to God because she loved God!
The poor widow was honored by God because she obeyed the First Commandment!
Remember in the middle of this chapter Mark 12, Jesus cited the 2 greatest commandments; Love God with everything and love your neighbor as yourself! You see, the hypocrisy and ego of the leaders and the unselfish giving of the poor widow are examples of responding to the 2 greatest commandments. In context, Mark 12 is a fantastic chapter to know and remember for our Christian lives!
And so, in applying the biblical principles from the passage today: Our hypocrisy, egos, and our giving to God are indicators of how we are doing in obeying the 2 greatest commandments from God! How are we doing? Take a moment to quietly ponder and pray about these truths…..