Summary: A sermon that speaks of the radical preaching and teaching of Jesus Christ.
Mar 12:38-44 NKJV Then He said to them in His teaching, "Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, (39) the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, (40) who devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation." (41) Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. (42) Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. (43) So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; (44) for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood."
Jesus was a radical, he preached that the Kingdom of Heaven was near, he also preached against the evil of the religious leaders of his day. He we find him talking about the scribes, they were the ones who were responsible for writing documents, for copying the scrolls and they were also the ones who were teachers. Notice that the preaching here has to do with how they comported themselves in everyday life. How they appeared to be highly religious and yet would steal from those who were less fortunate than themselves, he spoke of how they wanted to be seen in the best seats at synagogue but would foreclose on widows and steal their property supposedly to give the money to God but really wanted it for their own use. I think we have to remember that power tends to corrupt those who wield it.
It seems to me that the right thing to do with those who hold offices is to move them back to having to live among those they had passed law, or taxes on. That might just make them realize just how unfair their laws and taxes really are. When I look at the history of the Church, and the history of our nation, I see that the longer one holds an office, the more the temptation is to garner as much as you can for yourself at the expense of others. I disagree with the idea that the leaders of the Church have lifetime appointments to their positions. If you are a pastor, then if you attain a higher rank, it should be term limited and you should return to that duty that God had called you to again.
Jesus came to serve, not to be served, he washed the disciples feet, he served them as he also served the people that they met each day. Healing and teaching the common folks, from farmers, to prostitutes, to tax collectors. He was called a wine bibber because he went to parties and because he was willing to eat and drink with anyone who invited him. From Pharisees, to Tax Collectors, each of them needed to know the good news of the scriptures. He was a radical and today, I wonder how many churches would welcome this preacher, and how many common folk would love to have him around. How would you feel about a preacher who came to your pulpit and told you that you were a whitewashed tomb?
That is the reason that so many of the ruling class hated Jesus, he told it like it is, no pulled punches, no little white lies, he told the truth as God saw it, not as man wanted it to be. That's why he said to beware of the Scribes. Hear what Jesus says just before the passage we are in today.
Mark 12:35-37 “How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the Son of David? For David himself said by the Holy Spirit: 'THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, "SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, TILL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES YOUR FOOTSTOOL." ' Therefore David himself calls Him 'LORD';' how is He then his Son?" And the common people heard Him gladly.
The regular folks heard what Jesus said and were glad to hear it. The scribes were not as happy to hear him speak, because he called them out in front of the people. His very next line is: Beware of the Scribes. What an indictment of their way of living.
The reality of scripture is that God has always spoken of the right way to live in the world, he has always chastised the way of life of so many of His people. We opened our worship this morning with this verse in Psalm 127:1 “Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.” We humans tend to go at things without thinking about what it might be when we don't go to the Lord our God first. Remember that King David wanted to built the temple for God, and he was stopped, it was not what God had for him to do. By the same token we also know that our God came in the person of Jesus, the human face of God, and died so that we might be reconciled to God. I know that y'all know John 3:16 but do you know the verses that follow it?