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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Beware of the Scribes Mark 12:38–44

Beware of the Scribes Mark 12:38–44

Handout picture from the church service at Grave Lutheran Church on November 11, 2018 to go along with the Gospel Lesson - Mark 12: 38-44

I did not make it to church last Sunday and I am just getting around to studying the bulletin and the announcements.

I was intrigued with a picture that was handed out with the bulletin. I am really sad that I missed the sermon. 

I have always had a certain fascination with the “Beware of the Scribes” lesson in Mark.

I did a quick search and found a number of good commentaries. I guess this one stood out a bit. It is from a web site that I would like to bookmark for the future, - “Commentary on Mark 12:38-44,” by Micah D. Kiel, Associate Professor of Theology, St. Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa. 

He wrote in part, “Two brief stories in Mark 12:38-44 deal with wealth issues in ways that are still challenging today. 

“First are those who think they are more important than everyone else. In verses 38-40 Jesus specifically denounces the scribes. In Mark's estimation they are self-important, arrogant, and self-aggrandizing. This section of Mark's gospel, since Jesus' triumphal entry, has been dominated by controversy and antagonistic interaction between Jesus and various groups with leadership responsibilities in first-century Judaism. It is not surprising, then, that we find here a final nail in the coffin, a sweeping condemnation of the scribes.

“This short text in Mark is replete with echoes and interesting interpretations of certain themes from Israel's scriptures. Widows are often provided as the example par excellence as those to whom caring justice should be meted out. It is interesting that, in Deuteronomy 14:28-29, certain of the Jewish leaders (in this case, the Levites) are listed as among the aliens, orphans and widows who need support from the community because they have devoted themselves entirely to God.

“The scribes here, with their ostentatious robes and prayers and their insistence on being first have lost their tether to the demands of God. Mark's Jesus has already told us that whoever wants to be first must be last and servant of all (10:35), so the basis on which the judgment rests in 12:38-40 has already been established…” Read more here: 

Mark 12:38–44

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 marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor 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.”
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