Alms from the Poor?

November 7, 2021


We know what this story is about, correct? A poor widow comes to the Temple. She’s dependent on the kindness of others, since widows in that socio-economic context didn’t get to control their husband’s estate. She has two small coins, which she put into the Temple treasury. She could have saved one for herself, but she gave them both. The lesson: Since she gave all that she had, poor as she was, can’t we give more generously out of our abundance? Sermon preached; we can go home.

But let’s take a second look: note the first part of today’s text: Jesus said, “Beware of the scribes…” That can be translated, “Be discerning of the scribes…” In other words, don’t be fooled by them. They are treacherous. They’re preoccupied with their own power, prestige, and possessions. They take advantage of others, especially people on the margins.

Bible References

  • Mark 12:38 - 44