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Standing Firm In Christ

The Widow's Mites

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It has been said by many that in the story of the widow who put her last two mites in the Temple Treasury was being commended by Jesus after she did so.

I am not so sure this was the case.  Notice:

Mark 12:38-44 And he said unto them in his doctrine, BEWARE OF THE SCRIBES, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: WHICH DEVOUR WIDOWS HOUSES, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation. And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And 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: 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.

If one reads the text in context, (beginning at verse 39) one will see Jesus was warning of religious leaders who, "rob widow's houses".  Then, He sits against a wall across from the Treasury.  Lo and behold, a widow comes and drops all her living into the Treasury. 

What I see in that text is Jesus pointing out a destitute women has just been robbed, not that He was commending her.  Her money could have purchased some needed things that she lacked, but she put it in the Treasury?  Why? 

The Scribes, the LawMakers, had demanded her needed money.

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And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And 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: 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.

If one reads the text in context, (beginning at verse 39) one will see Jesus was warning of religious leaders who, "rob widow's houses".  Then, He sits against a wall across from the Treasury.  Lo and behold, a widow comes and drops all her living into the Treasury. 

What I see in that text is Jesus pointing out a destitute women has just been robbed, not that He was commending her.  Her money could have purchased some needed things that she lacked, but she put it in the Treasury?  Why? 

The Scribes, the LawMakers, had demanded her needed money.

Seriously??  If such were the case as you pointed out, we would not need the comparison that the "rich cast in much."  Many that were rich does not specify they were all lawmakers and scribes.  Rich were casting in a lot from their abundance but she cast in more.  If Jesus was pointing out they were robbing this poor widow, He would have just pointed out she gave all she had, now she has nothing.  He then goes on to point out she gave more than "all" that gave.  This was everyone giving, not just scribes and lawmakers.  He is pointing out her 100% and "all they" gave less than 100%.  This was not needed to be done if just pointing out that the scribes and lawmakers were thieves. 

And personally I don't see a widow being robbed.  Malachi 3:10&11 applies to her so she is being taken care of. 

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It was everyone giving, yes.  But more was required of the widow than of the others.  They gave out of their abundance, she gave all.

And yes, He was pointing out that she was being robbed.  Mark 12:38-40 And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.

Jesus  was warning of religious leaders who, among other attrocities, were oppressing the widows, depriving them of what rightfully belonged to the widows.

Mark 12:41-44 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And 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: 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.


After warning of those unrighteous acts of the religious leaders, Jesus sat down across from the treasury and watched people give.  What was the purpose?  To show how the widows were being robbed.  More was required of them than of the rich that gave to the religious system.

There was no commending in that passage at all, only condemnation.

Malachi 3:10-11 has absolutely nothing to do with Mark 12:38-44.  Israel's tithes were agricultural, not monetary.  She was not tithing in the passage, nor were the rich.

 

Edited by Standing Firm In Christ

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Tithing was a Levitical law. We (saved/church/bride) are not under the law but under grace. I come under fire for this belief often, yet I believe that's exactly what the bible teaches. Now that is not to say we shouldn't give to the church. But we are not obligated to a 10% tithe.  We should give from a cheerful heart (not grudgingly). I heard one preacher tell his congregation: "If you have unpaid bills, you better not be putting money into the plate".  I agree... when bills are manageable then give (willingly) and if you have looming taxes or utility bills needing paid... pay those first. And it would also depends on each person's walk with the Lord... as they are led by the Holy Spirit. Some years I have given a lot more than other years, it depended on true expenses (not talking about wants, but needs) and other years there wasn't as much to give. God knows the hearts/minds and situations. He meets the needs. 

2 Corinthians 9:7 "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."

I notice the words "or of necessity" , that shows that churches should not demand a set percentage of income (once again, we are not under Levitical law). But it also doesn't mean "give nothing", I'm not saying that at all... because "God loveth a cheerful giver". 

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Seems maybe your are reading too much into this passage. It's pretty clear that Jesus was pointing out about quality and not quantity. Even after they robbed her house she still gave her tithe.

Edited by Critical Mass
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1 hour ago, Critical Mass said:

Seems maybe your are reading too much into this passage. It's pretty clear that Jesus was pointing out about quality and not quantity. Even after they robbed her house she still gave her tithe.

1 hour ago, Critical Mass said:

 

The widow was not tithing.  We can know this for several reasons.

 

1.  The Law was still in effect.  The Law would not end until Jesus' death on the cross.  Ephesians. 2:14-15; Colossians. 2:14

2.  The Law said that God's holy tithe was to be agricultural, not monetary.  Leviticus 27:30-33

3.  Even if the widow had a farm to tithe from, she would not have tithed to the Temple.  She would have taken her tithe to the Levites in the farming community instead.  Numbers 18:24-28; Nehemiah 10:37-38

4.  Only Temple staff tithed to the Temple.  Nehemiah 10:37-38

Edited by Standing Firm In Christ

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Permit me say something about this issue of the Widow and her Mites. And, why some people give their tithes and offerings to the church.

Maybe, just maybe, the poor widow gave her two mites, all that she had, (not because it was commanded by the law and the Pharisees commanded we give the tithe), but  because she loved the Lord and His work and His Temple.

Maybe, just maybe, some people in our age, give tithes and offerings (not because it is commanded by the law and the Pharisees command we give a tithe), but because we love the Lord, we love His work, and we love his church.

I honestly believe that the Widow gave all she had because she loved God in heaven and wanted to show her gratitude towards not only towards God in heaven, but help His work, financially, on the earth.

Why some folks give their Tithes and Offerings to the Church

And, in this day and age, a lot of folks give their tithe and offering because they love the Lord Jesus and love the church.

Paul told us to follow the example of the Law to give our finances to the Church

Furthermore, Paul the apostle, who wrote that we are not under the Law, told the Corinthian church to give financially (carnal things), to the church, as written in the Old Testament,  so that the ministers of the gospel can freely preach.

"Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vinyard, and eateth not the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man? or saith the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, not doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth in hope should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope." 1 Corinthians 9: 7 - 10

Paul quoted Deuteronomy 22:10 In the Old Testament, and in the New Testament, the minister is referred to as an "ox." These statutes, in the Law, were not only written for the Jews in Israel, under the Law, but for the church, under grace.

In 1 Timothy 5:17 and 18 Paul not only repeats this admonition in the care of the ministers at church but he goes one step further (under Grace and the Law): "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especilly they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward." 1 Timothy 5:17 and 18

If a person really loves the church and the minister of God than Paul said to honor him with 'double.' Hmmm? I wonder what 'double' means?

In both 1 Corinthians 9:9 , Paul quoted from the Law as his authority: Deuteronomy 22:10

Deuteronomy 22:10, "Thou shalt not plow with and ox and an ass together."

Also, for your information, the ox was referring to the minister of God and the ass is referring to the ministers of unrigtheousness: such as, the Pharisees, the liberal, the Pope, the lost minister in these lost chuches, the false prophet in the Old Testament and the false teacher in the New Testament, and deceived brethren.

 

 

Edited by Alan
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The context of Mark 12:38-44 shows that the widow was being robbed.  

 

i believe that many people give 10% of their money because they love the Lord.  (God's holy tithe was to be agricultural, so the tenth of one's money is not His tithe according to God's Word)  However, many give that ten percent because they are lied to.  Every monetary tithe sermon I have ever heard, the pastor, or preacher runs to Leviticus 27:30 to prove that, "The tithe is the Lord's."  They then run to Malachi 3:10 and tell the people they are robbing God if they don't tithe their money.  Problem is, in running to Malachi, they place the people under the Law.

 

Is Tithing a Sin

Is tithing money a sin? Yes, it is,... if you are tithing money because, "the Bible commands us to tithe," or because "God's Word says I'll be cursed if I don't."

God's Word decides what is to be tithed, not us. If the preacher's tithe sermon contradicts what is written in God's Holy Word, God is right, the preacher is wrong. If man's belief concerning God's commanded tithe is contrary to what is written in the Bible about God's commanded tithe, God is right, man is wrong. The decision as to what is to be tithed, to whom the tithe is to be given, when, and where it is to be observed has already been written in God's Word.

He said His holy tithe is agriculrural, not monetary. (Lev. 27:30-33) He said it is for the physical descendants of Levi, not for Gentiles on Gentile soil. (Lev. 27:34; Num. 18:24-26; Neh. 10:37-38; Deut. 6:1-3 & 12:1,10-11)

God's Word says that sin is the transgression of the Law. (1 John 3:4) To say that God requires monetary tithes is false, since God's Word says His holy tithe is to be agricultural. To say that God's holy tithe is to be taken to Gentile pastors on Gentile soil is also false, since God said His holy tithes are to go to Levites in farming communities in Canaan.

When those who believe that God's Word commands them to tithe tithe money, (instead of agricultural crops and livestock) and they tithe on Gentile soil, (instead of farming communities in Canaan), and they tithe to a Gentile pastor, (instead of to a Levite) they transgress the very Law they claim to be keeping.

Yes, to tithe money in response to Leviticus 27:30, Malachi 3:10, Matthew 23:23, Luke 11:42 or Hebrews 7:5-9; or in response to any other Biblical command to tithe is,... in fact,... sin..

 

1 Corinthians 9 was not speaking of tithes at all.  Paul was speaking of support for the Apostles in their missions. The tithe belonged to Israel, not to the Church.

Edited by Standing Firm In Christ

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59 minutes ago, Standing Firm In Christ said:

The context of Mark 12:38-44 shows that the widow was being robbed.  

 

Your statement is not correct and is a private interpretation. Mark 12:38-40 is a different situation and has no bearing on the story of the widows mite in Mark 12:41-44

She was not robbed in any sense of the word. The Lord Jesus plainly stated, "... Verily I say unto you, that his poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury. 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."

The Lord Jesus did not reference any of His words in reference to the Pharisees, nor did He even reference His words to the Law; He clearly stated that the widow gave "out of her want." The widow "wanted' to give. The widow gave because she had a happy and generous heart of love. The attitude of the Pharisees were not even considered in her mind and heart nor in the mind and heart of the Lord Jesus.

The Lord Jesus did not say, or even allude to, and 'robbing the widow.' Your interpretation is a mis-representation, and judgment, of the widow, and a perverting of the words of the Lord Jesus.

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Actually, it is you who is incorrect.

 

scenario:

Jesus warns of widows being robbed by the scribes.

He then goes and sits across from the treasury.

For what purpose?

Because He knew the widow was on her way, bringing all her living.

There was no commendation in the account, only a warning against the scribes.

 

"Out of her want" does not mean she wanted to give.  It means she was lacking, yet gave anyway.  Why did she give anyway?  Because she was being forced to give.  She was being robbed.

Want:Transliteration: hysterēsis
Pronunciation: hü-ste'-rā-sēs 
Part of Speech: feminine noun
Root Word (Etymology): from G5302
Outline of Biblical Usage:
want, poverty

 

"out of her want" is not speaking of a desire to give at all.  Look up the root of the Greek for want in Mark 12:44.  It clearly shows she was giving out of her lack.

Edited by Standing Firm In Christ

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13 minutes ago, Alan said:

Your statement is not correct and is a private interpretation. Mark 12:38-40 is a different situation and has no bearing on the story of the widows mite in Mark 12:41-44

She was not robbed in any sense of the word. The Lord Jesus plainly stated, "... Verily I say unto you, that his poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury. 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."

The Lord Jesus did not reference any of His words in reference to the Pharisees, nor did He even reference His words to the Law; He clearly stated that the widow gave "out of her want." The widow "wanted' to give. The widow gave because she had a happy and generous heart of love. The attitude of the Pharisees were not even considered in her mind and heart nor in the mind and heart of the Lord Jesus.

The Lord Jesus did not say, or even allude to, and 'robbing the widow.' Your interpretation is a mis-representation, and judgment, of the widow, and a perverting of the words of the Lord Jesus.

I think that is rather a forced interpretation SFIC. While I agree with you generally, I don't think you are correct regarding the widow,

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28 minutes ago, Standing Firm In Christ said:

Actually, it is you who is incorrect.

 

scenario:

Jesus warns of widows being robbed by the scribes.

He then goes snd sits across from the treasury.

For what purpose?

Because He knew the widow was on her way, bringing all her living.

There was no commendation in the account, only a warning against the scribes.

 

"Out of her want" does not mean she wanted to give.  It means she was lacking, yet gave anyway.  Why did she give anyway?  Because she was being forced to give.  She was being robbed.

Want:Transliteration: hysterēsis
Pronunciation: hü-ste'-rā-sēs 
Part of Speech: feminine noun
Root Word (Etymology): from G5302
Outline of Biblical Usage:
want, poverty

 

"out of her want" is not speaking of a desire to give at all.  Look up the root of the Greek for want in Mark 12:44.  It clearly shows she was giving out of her lack.

SFIC,

Obviously she was in 'want' or in poverty, that is not the question nor the attitude of her heart. The word 'want' has many meanings, and you neglected to give all of them. You only gave the meaning that you wanted to give and neglected to give, or even say, that there could be another meaning.

May I quote a meaning of the word 'want' from the 1848 Webster's Dictionary? "WANT" 6. to wish for; to desire." the heart motive of this widow was a desire to give to the Lord. she was not even concerned what the Pharisees taught or thought of her actions.

The widow 'wanted' to give her all to the temple. Again, may I quote the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus  very clearly said, "... Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 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 12:43 and 44

The widow was a poor widow, she wanted to give to the Lord, to the Temple, to the work of God, out of a heart of love and devotion. Your interpretation is not correct and a perversion of the words of the Lord Jesus. The widow gave joyously and lovingly. Her rewards in heaven are great.

 

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I'm sorry, Alan. I have to agree with "Standing Firm" on the usage of the word "want". I know we aren't supposed to bring the Greek into it, but it denotes "neediness/poverty".   I do believe she desired (out of the goodness of her heart) to please the Lord, and she did desire to give something, just not everything.  Sorry if I have muddied the waters further, I just do agree with the "want" pertaining to her financial status/neediness.

 

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13 minutes ago, Alan said:

SFIC,

Obviously she was in 'want' or in poverty, that is not the question nor the attitude of her heart. The word 'want' has many meanings, and you neglected to give all of them. You only gave the meaning that you wanted to give and neglected to give, or even say, that there could be another meaning.

May I quote a meaning of the word 'want' from the 1848 Webster's Dictionary? "WANT" 6. to wish for; to desire." the heart motive of this widow was a desire to give to the Lord. she was not even concerned what the Pharisees taught or thought of her actions.

The widow 'wanted' to give her all to the temple. Again, may I quote the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus  very clearly said, "... Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 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 12:43 and 44

The widow was a poor widow, she wanted to give to the Lord, to the Temple, to the work of God, out of a heart of love and devotion. Your interpretation is not correct and a perversion of the words of the Lord Jesus. The widow gave joyously and lovingly. Her rewards in heaven are great.

 

You interpret the word "want" from a secular dictionary.

 

I look to the Greek for the interpretation.  The Greek for want carried far less definitions than the secular.

 

Had Jesus meant, "desire" or "wish for," the Greek would have been "aiteo".  He instead used "hysteresis," which speaks of poverty, not desire.

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I have already said that the word want is meaning poverty; I also said that the other meaning is to desire.

And, even though if you want to only force that one meaning the words of the Lord Jesus is very clear. The poor widow was not robbed in any sense of the word and you are trying to twist the very words of the Lord Jesus to prove a saint is being robbed when they tithe.

22 minutes ago, Alan said:

Again, may I quote the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus  very clearly said, "... Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 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 12:43 and 44

The widow was a poor widow, she wanted to give to the Lord, to the Temple, to the work of God, out of a heart of love and devotion. Your interpretation is not correct and a perversion of the words of the Lord Jesus. The widow gave joyously and lovingly. Her rewards in heaven are great.

Are we to take the words of SFIC above the very words of the Lord Jesus?

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51 minutes ago, Standing Firm In Christ said:

You quoted Alan, did you mean Alan's interpretation is forced?

Did I?  Sorry no I was referring to you.  I don;t know how that happened.  Sorry to Alan as well.

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The very words of Jesus also stated in Mark 12:40 " 40 Which devour widows' houses ...." I see the words tying into the next sentences as well... so "Standing Firm" has brought out those words of Jesus also... in context of the verses together. So no, I am not taking mankinds words above the Lord Jesus... I am fully taking ALL that Jesus has to say about it, not just limited to verse 43 and 44.

 

Edited by Ronda
added "44"

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The Lord Jesus, in Mark 12:38-40, is talking about the hearts motives of the relgious leaders of His age.

The Lord Jesus, in Mark 12:43 and 44 is talking about the heart motive of the poor widow and her reason for giving.

On ‎2015‎年‎10‎月‎17‎日‎ ‎下午‎, robmac68 said:

Seriously??  If such were the case as you pointed out, we would not need the comparison that the "rich cast in much."  Many that were rich does not specify they were all lawmakers and scribes.  Rich were casting in a lot from their abundance but she cast in more.  If Jesus was pointing out they were robbing this poor widow, He would have just pointed out she gave all she had, now she has nothing.  He then goes on to point out she gave more than "all" that gave.  This was everyone giving, not just scribes and lawmakers.  He is pointing out her 100% and "all they" gave less than 100%.  This was not needed to be done if just pointing out that the scribes and lawmakers were thieves. 

And personally I don't see a widow being robbed.  Malachi 3:10&11 applies to her so she is being taken care of. 

robma68 is correct.

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Alan, I do not want to argue and cause strife... I really don't.  But I have to tell you that I see a reason for Jesus talking about the heart motives of the religious leaders JUST PRIOR to talking about the widow and her mites. Specifically he mentioned widows in verse 40 and I do not think it coincidental that a widow is to whom he is showing the example of in verses 42-44.  I can see we differ in thought on that.  I see the tie-in, you don't think it's relevant to what Jesus was saying in the next verses... so I will just agree to disagree with you (hopefully without hard feelings). I had to defend this point because you stated I was taking the word of fellow-mankind above the Lord Jesus and I wanted to explain to you why that's not the case.  Jesus' words do mean more to me than any mere human...   

6 minutes ago, Alan said:

The Lord Jesus, in Mark 12:38-40, is talking about the hearts motives of the relgious leaders of His age.

The Lord Jesus, in Mark 12:43 and 44 is talking about the heart motive of the poor widow and her reason for giving.

 

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Let's quote the account of the Widow's Mite from Luke's gospel:

Luke 20:46 Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts;
Luke 20:47 Which devour widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.

Luke 21:1 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.
Luke 21:2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.
Luke 21:3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:
Luke 21:4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury (husteresis) hath cast in all the living that she had.

The word "penury" in verse 4 of Chapter 21 is the same Greek word as the word "want" in Mark 12:44--husteresis

Strong's Greek Dictionary

5304. υστερησις husteresis

υστερησις husteresis hoos-ter'-ay-sis

a falling short, i.e. (specially), penury:—want.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary [K-Z]

penury

PEN'URY, n. L. penuria, from Gr. needy.

Want of property; indigence; extreme poverty.

All innocent they were exposed to hardship and penury.

******************************************

The word "want" (husteresis) is also found in Philippians 4:11:
Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want (husteresis): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
Therefore, the word "want" in Mark 12:44 does not mean "desire"....nor is there any indication in the text that the widow had a desire to give.

BTW, the poor widow was not "tithing"....she was giving.  The Biblical tithe was never money.

Edited by LindaR

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20 minutes ago, Alan said:

The Lord Jesus, in Mark 12:38-40, is talking about the hearts motives of the relgious leaders of His age.

The Lord Jesus, in Mark 12:43 and 44 is talking about the heart motive of the poor widow and her reason for giving.

Does not a person from the heart have a desire to give?

"Keep thy heart with all dilgence; for out of it are the issues of life." Proverbs 4;23

Did not the Lord Jesus judge the religious leaders in Mark 12:38-40 according to the desire of their hearts?

And, did not the Lord Jesus commend the widow in Mark 12:43 and 44 according to the desire of her heart?

Does not God, as the Lord Jesus, look upon the desires of the heart and makes a judgment? "But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as a man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

The Lord Jesus saw the desires of the heart of the poor, desitute, and poverty stricken widow and told us, and the whole world, she gave out of a heart of love.

Edited by Alan
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