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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mark 12:38-44 (Sermon for the week of November 12th)

Mk 12:38-44

In the course of his teaching Jesus said to the crowds,
"Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes
and accept greetings in the marketplaces,
seats of honor in synagogues,
and places of honor at banquets.
They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext
recite lengthy prayers.
They will receive a very severe condemnation."

He sat down opposite the treasury
and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury.
Many rich people put in large sums.
A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.
Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them,
"Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more
than all the other contributors to the treasury.
For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had,
her whole livelihood."


Jesus says: "Beware of the scribes who LIKE to go around in long robes..." Why? Anyone wearing long robes are people who are not fit to do manual labor. It is a symbol of someone who does not do manual labor, and as we know, the people in Jesus' time made their living by doing some kind of manual labor.

So by wearing a long robe, the scribes instantly tell the public that they are above manual labor, that they are...well...scribes! Scribes also get to sit in a special place in the synagogue...a seat that places them in the best view... but more importantly it is a seat where the public can see that they have the best seats in the Temple. Beware! Why? Why are these men given such praise and honor? They are men who do not work with their hands...but work with their minds,
they are knowledge workers...for man. They take God's commandments and expound, or clarify them, and make a few adjustments here and there. We know God can't be perfect so we need scribes to set it straight?! NO! They are humans just like us who will die like us and sin like us. Here is the Messiah standing before them again, and does the Messiah get the respect and attention as these scribes? NO!

We must be careful and heed Jesus' words. Just because a man holds themselves in a position that they say is "Holy" does not mean you park your own ability to think, reason, and learn at the door and follow whatever these "holy" men say. They are human like you and me and are subject to imperfection. Get to know the modern day scribes (clergy) as friends and ask them questions if you wish. Better yet, learn on your own first with Jesus leading the way and use the clergy for insight and assistance if needed.

Taking a back seat in your own journey of faith and showing up to church once in a while will not, can not, and never will build faith! You are in serious trouble if you have never had the initiative to yearn for faith. What is preventing you?

"Faith comes from learning and learning by the Word of God" as St. Paul informs us!
You cannot earn admission into heaven by following the instructions of men! If you do not understand why something is said or talked about then why believe a "holy" man? Why not seek the Truth and ask God directly? Beware of false truth because a man calls himself a disciple of God and demands recognition.

If you can learn form them, and like them and what they do...get to know them as you would a friend...but beware of the "scribes" of today that take money, that speak threats, and at the same time place themselves on a pedestal above all others! You are workers of faith...faith comes through trials...learn that mistakes
and wrongdoing come FROM MANKIND and not God! Jesus can not, is not, and will not lead you astray! Men and women will lead you astray...

Let's take a test to prove the holiness of God and the wickedness of man:
Did the Christian Church abuse little children?
Answer: NO!
Did men abuse little children?
Answer: YES!
Who is to blame for this sickness? Jesus Christ or Men?
Answer: ALWAYS HAS, ALWAYS WILL BE MANKIND as the source of sickness and wrongdoing!!

Jesus says:"They (the scribes) devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext recite lengthy prayers." What does Jesus mean here? Well, scribes were known to be lawyers also. So many people had them invovled in legal matters, and managing their money! Scribes are a great occupation! You are an authority on God and his words and can clarify them unlike God can, you are a lawyer and can influence decision making, and you are a personal banker in the trusted position of handling money of other people.

WOW! Who would have thought these scribes are so nice and helpful? Well, they aren't. In fact, they took advantage of people. Widows are looked down upon in patriarchal societies such as found in the Middle East, and are easily taken advantage of. This is still true today. These scribes would watch over the widow's estates, and well, as Jesus states: would "DEVOUR THEM".

Scribes would also sit and pray unusually long prayers to ensure that "God hears them" and people would feel obligated to give them money for their hard work. See the unholy, unrighteous, works of man? "Forget about God...we want a donation...so I will sit here and pray unitl I get one...!"

Don't you see this today? Scribes such as these that Jesus warns us about are still here...we may call them by a different title now or see them in a different kind of "temple".

I will finish this sermon with a couple more points. In the last portion of the reading, Jesus sits opposite of the treasury and watches people place their money "into the treasury". Just for some background information, the "treasury" Jesus is looking at usually contained receptacles for taking money that resembled the horn of a trumpet. In the Womans Court where this widow would have most likely donated her money, would have had 13 of these different trumpets to place money into.

Jesus, being the Son of God, wants to make a point.

First, people give money in order to show off. Jews would throw coins down the trumpets in order to generate noise. The more noise generated by the coins...the more money they were giving. So, people would show off by making the most noise in order to get noticed by other people instead out of pure generosity. These people want to show off and hear a noisy donation in order to get their money's worth! Then Jesus sees the widow...widow who placed two coins in.

First, how did Jesus know that it was only two coins and not one or three? Second, how does Jesus know that the woman placed all that she had as a donation? Think about it. You and I would have come to the conclusion that the widow was a tight wad and penny pincher before we claimed that she put in all she had to give.

I wouldn't make such a statement unless I actually knew how much money the woman had!
It would be easier for me and more satisfying as a sinful man to call the widow a
cheap penny pincher!

How would Jesus know this? Becuase Jesus is the Son of God and knows ALL THINGS! This is a verse to show you that proof. He knows exactly how much these people put in...and the
knowledge to learn is that Jesus knew exactly how much they put in before they themselves knew what they would put in! Nothing is hidden from Jesus. He knows ALL because he CREATED ALL. And that is His lesson here. He knows your thoughts, He knows your heart, and that is why He can be the Judge of mankind. Nothing is hidden...He knows what you have been through...and the injustices you have faced...those who donate money to look good, and those who donate all they had...are known to Jesus.

Jesus lived in a tent of flesh in order to fulfull the Law of the Torah by His undeserving crucifixion by mankind. Through Him you are saved. The practice of donating money IS NOT REQUIRED! Tithing is OLD LAW from the OLD Testament.
IF you donate, do it from your heart in order to help a cause. But it is no longer
required. You are free to give and free not to give...for the Truth has set you
free...and that TRUTH is the life, death, andResurrection of the Only Jesus the Christ!

God Bless you and your families this week!



  • This is a great little article and I'm glad you wrote it. More and more we are starting to realize that what Christ said is far more important than what other people say it meant. Christ was no different than you or I or anyone else, he simply chose to persue his own truth rather than listen to others. He followed his own gifts, insights, and even doubts until he found his true self...his own godhood. I believe we all have this ability, that we are all God.

    Why worship someone who only asked you to follow? He showed us a possible way to live in the world...as God and without fear.

    I am writing about this exact thing...the perception that Christ and many others have explored but our current society seems to fear. I am admitting that I am God...I would appreciate any comments you may have for my writings. Please visit, I'm sure we will benefit from each other equally.


    A Forgetful God

    By Blogger Forgetful God, at 5:05 PM  

  • No we are not calling ouselves God. Only Jesus is God. He was God before He became man. He was God in the beginning and is God now. You have missed the point completely of what we are saying.

    By Blogger Adam Bomb, at 12:39 AM  

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