November 22, 2022 – Tuesday
Widows Still on My Mind
Mark 12:38-40 NIV
38 As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces,
39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.
40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”
Mark 12:38-40 21KJV
38 And He said unto them in His doctrine, “Beware of the scribes, who 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,
40 who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.”
This is not all Jesus had to say on this topic, but it is the first occurrence in the New Testament. The 21KJV is included to show additional depth to the NIV’s These men will be punished most severely via the 21KJV’s these [men] shall receive greater damnation. I have to wonder what is greater damnation. I don’t know and I’m not sure I want to know. It’s enough to know it is something I would not want to experience.
Consider how the 40th verse follows verse 39, [they, the teachers of the law] have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. Ellicott’s Commentary states, our Lord seems to say, and when there, this is what they feast on, [widow’s homes]. Both Ellicott’s Commentary and the Pulpit Commentary think verse 40 should stand alone as that makes it all the more graphic. Let’s take a look, NIV 40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely and the 21KJV 40 [they] who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.
Just repeat that a few times aloud, They devour widow’ houses followed by, they then for a pretense make long prayers. Their long prayers are only for show and are used to cover up their evil voracious appetite to devour what they can from the most helpless and defenseless among them.
The Pulpit Commentary added concerning greater condemnation: “the word in the Greek is κρίμα, that is, “judgment.” A severer sentence would fall upon them in the day of judgment and a heavier condemnation, because, under the semblance of piety, they practiced iniquity, and indulged their avarice under the mask of religion.” Barnes’ Notes on the Bible adds, If there is any sin of special enormity, it is that of taking advantage of the circumstances of the poor, the needy, and the helpless, to wrong them out of the pittance on which they depend for the support of their families; and as God is the friend of the widow and the fatherless, it may be expected that such will be visited with heavy condemnation.
All of this comes to mind whenever I recall a television preacher asking everyone (including widows) to send in $5, $10, $25 for an anointed cloth or oil that will change their lives.. They deceive people who can ill afford to send money, to send it in the hopes of blessings. Such preachers, I believe, will be visited with heavy condemnation.
Bottom Line: Depend upon God, His Son, and His Word, not those seeking to get rich from what little you have no matter how emotionally they preach.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Show us how to help others to recognize those who are only out to enrich themselves no matter the cost to others and especially when taking advantage of the weakest among us. Help us to discern them correctly and quickly. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton