Mark, Chapter 12

- ר ה ע -

Jesus Warns His Disciples About Those Who Pursue Wealth and Honor

38And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, 39 And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: 40Which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation. 41And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. 42And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. 43And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.(Mark 12:38-44)

Jesus cautions his disciples against those who pray only to draw the attention of others or pursue honor. Such individuals do whatever they can to maintain appearances, but it is not out of genuine faith. All they want is money and power. The widow who donates a small sum contributes much more than they do, because she is motivated by sincere faith whereas they are driven by an insatiable lust for power. Those who have little often rejoice in their lot. They only ask for what they truly need. This attitude infuses their life with a great sense of meaning. Their kindness is sincere and they expect nothing in return. Their generosity is pure because it comes from the heart.

Generosity is giving beyond the level of comfort, with an open heart and an open hand.