While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples,
Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.
As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. He said,
Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.
From the context of our Clayton Church value of Everyday Moments, both passages highlight the ever-present nature of Jesus. In the first passage, he takes about everyday moments and how the teachers of the law allow their position and power to corrupt and misuse everyday moments to glorify themselves. In the second, he focuses on the intimacy and tenderness of the everyday moment – for the poor widow, her offering was an act of true worship.
Jesus taught his disciples while other people were gathering around them. He taught on the need to take caution with teachers who let their power and status get to them. This trait was particularly obvious where teachers of the law who make a show of their presence in areas like marketplaces. This focus on outward appearance may also mean sitting in prominent positions at the temple or even the place of honor at banquets. They also may show off in their lengthy but meaningless prayers. Ultimately, these kinds of people will be called to account for their actions and attitude and be severely punished.
While Jesus was in the temple, he observed the difference between how different people were making their offering. On the one hand he saw the the rich tithe their gifts with little to no thought, but on the other hand, he witnessed a poor widow approach with much effort to place two small copper coins. Using this everyday moment, Jesus taught that the heart of the poor widow in giving as she had done was more significant and heartfelt to God because she gave everything and relied more-so on God rather than the wealthy who clearly gave without a change in their heart conditions towards God.
What I Discovered
- Our everyday moments are observable – both from our perspective and also from the perspective of other people observing us.
- The way we conduct ourselves, and live out the Biblical teachings to love one another, is on display for all to see – we need to walk the line with the right balance and not lose ourselves in the process.
- Jesus’ standard is the highest – ensuring that our hearts and attitudes are aligned with God.
- Tithes and offering are part of our worship to God – not an act to be trivialized.
Obedience Step:”I Will”
I will ensure that my regular tithes and offering is done from a heart of sincerity. I will ensure that my actions are consistent with my words/writings, and that the entirety of my lifestyle is consistent with what God wants for me.