In Mark 12 The LORD through Mark records Jesus teaching the Parable of the Vine-growers, the Jewish leaders trying to trap Jesus with questions about taxes, the resurrection and the greatest of the commandments, Jesus challenging them with the fact that HE is both LORD and Son, Jesus’ condemnation of the Jewish leaders’ hypocrisy and the teaching of the widow’s Mite.  The contrast between the scribes and the widow is striking.  Jesus said the scribes only do things “for appearance sake” thinking they will receive commendation, but instead they will receive condemnation.  One of the things that Jesus said they did was “devour widows’ houses” and the very next thing Jesus addresses is the widow who gave all she had.  The scribes spent their time condemning (devouring) widows, but here Jesus commends this widow.  He does so, because unlike many others who gave for appearance sake out of their abundance, that which cost them nothing, she literally gave all she had to honor the Lord.  This would have left her unable to even buy food. Not only does Jesus commend this widow for her total commitment to honor the LORD, but at the same time He is condemning the Jewish leaders who would oppress widows so much that they would find themselves in this position of poverty.  LORD, by Your grace, empower me to be totally committed like this widow so that Your are glorified and not me.  Protect me from doing things “for appearance sake,” but instead help me do them for the sake of the Gospel.

– Bryan McKenzie

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