Wednesday, March 25, 2015, Day 31
Mark 12:35-44 (NRSV)
Jesus has some interesting teaching that refutes the necessity of the Messiah being in the line of David. Mark's Gospel has not linked Jesus through any genealogy to this famous ancestor. The lists of lineage come later in Matthew and Luke. Some scholars believe that this leads us to ascertain that the historical Jesus may not have been of the line of David at all. The scribes who would record such things are then taken to task.
We see the contrast between those whom polite society would honor (scribes) and one whom would be forgotten (the poor widow).
|The Widow's Mite by James Tissot between 1886 and 1894|
The contrast comes in her devotion versus their hypocrisy - they are even stated as "devouring widows' houses" indicating that she is poor for a reason.
Often when we hear the story of the widow's mite, we hear it in isolation rather than in context with the scribes.
I've enjoyed a nice place to sit in worship before.
I've enjoyed the place of honor at meals.
I hope that I haven't devoured widows' houses.
As we think about this, we examine where pride comes into the equation with our daily walk with God. Do we ever lift up our own faithfulness in contrast with those who are less faithful?
Do we ever see someone as less than we should because of their lack of attendance or giving?
Do we ever play God?
In the end, King David doesn't have to enter into the equation. Jesus is the Messiah that frees us from this criticism of others. Our job is to follow with totality - even giving up the sidelong glances at our neighbors who may not measure up.
Prayer of Dietrich Bonhoeffer on the Simplicity of Trust:
Nothing is more ruinous for life together
than to mistrust the spontaneity of others
and suspect their motives.
to psychologize and analyze people,
as has become fashionable these days,
is to destroy all trust,
to expose everything decent to public defamation.
It's the revolt of all that is vulgar
against what's free and genuine.
People don't exist to look into the abyss
of each other's hearts -
nor can they -
but to encounter and accept each other
just as they are -
simply, naturally, in courageous trust.
Prayer by Dietrich Bonhoeffer from Meditation and Prayer.
Picture by James Tissot [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons