Thoughts for the Day

Saturday, 8th June 2024: Be warned, or be aware!

Scribes Giving Temple Mark 12 Jesus

Reading : Verses from Mark, Chapter 12

Widow's mite

As he taught, he said, ‘Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the market-places, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honour at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.’

He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.’

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Jesus has judged the Scribes for their actions before - he has commended one scribe "as not being far from the Kingdom of God" (Mark 12.28-34) , but others he has slated for their attitudes (Mark 2.2-12). Now in two incidents he looks at what is important and valued in the Kingdom of God and how different this is in the world that we know. The issues of the scribes may not seem so appropriate today when our economies are struggling, but there are still countries and indeed churches where the leaders act for their own good rather than for the good of the people. Questions like, should we give money to a cause so that our name will go down on a plaque in thanks, have to be asked. Indeed should a church spend its money on a new hall? Or would it be better given to help people who are struggling to find food or shelter?

Which things are valued in the Kingdom of God? Jesus judges the offering not by its size, but by the person's heart. We too may not have much money, but do we really give until it hurts, and can we use our time to help instead? Jesus does not condemn the rich who give large amounts of money (though he does condemn the ostentatious way of their giving), but he says the woman's gift is the greater because she gives all she has. If we take this measure and apply it to our talents and our time, how much do we really give to God's Kingdom?

Today we need to be warned to act as a good influence upon our community and our church, and to constantly be aware of when we or they fall short of the Kingdom values.


Lord Jesus,
You warned the people not to give
for the wrong reasons.
You also taught them they would be judged
by the values of the Kingdom.
May we learn to be aware
when we fall short of Kingdom values
like love, compassion, and integrity.
May we also encourage our church
and the communities we belong to,
to engage with these values.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might find this site helpful to explore the whole subject of Christian values in more depth:

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