Mark 12: 38-44


Love gives
Reading: Mark 12: 38-44
k-hymn: 431
Blanks: Watch out, more, everything

(3) For about three years, Jesus was constantly on the move to help new people.
That is why sometimes, he had to sleep on a mountain.
That was ok, because Jesus liked to pray on those mountains.
Jesus prayed when his disciples were in sleep.
He prayed to God alone.

Until today, there were some people support his ministry.
They provided what Jesus needed so that Jesus and his disciples could continually serve others.

(3) Now in those days, there were also teachers of the law.
They were scribes.
They studied and produced many religious rules and regulations.
And they taught people to follow those rules.
Then some people also gave them donations for their teaching.

But then these teachers of the law were very educated people.
They knew various laws.
They were experts in legal procedure.
So sometimes, they used their legal knowledge to take what was not theirs.
They took what was not theirs without violating laws.

(3) But at the same time scribes insisted that people should greet them with respect in public.
They loved the place of honor.
So they wanted people to honor them in the marketplace.
They liked to take the front seats in the meeting place.
They liked to take the highest places at festival.
They insisted that they should be treated like that.

Then when they were given a chance, they said a long prayer to show how religious they were.
(3) They also dressed like this, wearing flowing robes.
They wore this dress to say that they were the people of honour.
Then because of the dress, they could not work or run.

(3) Jesus, of course, didn’t like the way they used religion for themselves like that.
So today in the temple, Jesus taught people not to live like those religious lawyers.
Jesus asked people to live humbly in an attitude of serving.
Because then God would be very pleased with them.

(3) Yes today Jesus was in Jerusalem in the temple.
Then Jesus was sitting near the Temple donation box.
Then Jesus waited for someone.
Jesus was here waiting someone who really loved God and who didn’t use religion to take more things for herself.

While waiting, Jesus was watching people.
Jesus saw people putting their money in the Temple donation box.
In those day, people used coins.
So when rich people gave large sums of money, everyone could hear the coins dropping.
Yes, some rich people gave a lot, because they could easily live without those money.

Then a poor widow came by.
She was an elderly person who lived alone.

In the time of Jesus, widows were generally poor, because they didn’t have many job opportunities.
It was difficult for them to have a good education.
It was difficult to earn good incomes.
So generally, they didn’t have much money.
But this widow still loved God.
And she wanted to give something to God.
(3) But she only had two cents.
That was all she had.
But she decided to give her two cents to God today.
(3) She put her money into the Temple donation box.

Today, even homeless people would not take these two cents, if you give.
You know what could they do with these two cents?
It is really not much.

(3) But Jesus said something like this to his disciples.
"This poor widow gave more than all those rich people today.
Because she gave all she had.
Her giving was an expression of love.
It is not about how much you give.
It is about how much you love.
She gave all.”

How could she give all of her money?
She should keep some of her money for herself, right?
Or why did she give all of her money?

She didn’t have much.
But she wanted to show her love to God.
So she gave all.
Then Jesus saw her love toward God.
Jesus knew how much she loved God.

(3) Why was Jesus waiting for her to come today?
Why did Jesus want to see her?

Maybe because in a few days, Jesus would also give his life to God.
On the cross, he would let go of everything.

So Jesus wanted to see her who gave everything, not, because she had to, but because she loved God.
And Jesus was very much encouraged, because Jesus saw another person who gave everything to God.
And Jesus saw his own life in her.
Then, Jesus also decided to get ready to give everything to God.

Then Jesus also gave his life to God.
And Jesus encouraged his students to follow this way of giving everything to God.

(2) Reading today’s text, we see a little bit that Jesus has a very special heart for the poor.
Then I remember that I have some poor friends, too.
Sometimes, I felt hesitant to invite them to church.
I am guilty of that, too.

But I also wonder whether they would be welcome here.
Will our church people welcome them and love them?
Or would they be despised, because they are poor?
Or would I be blamed for bringing those poor people?

Today, a poor widow came to church.
And she had two cents.
Then she gave her two cents to God because she loved God.
And Jesus is like:
“She is the greatest lover of God today, because she gave God more than anybody.”

Lastly, let’s think about this:
What is our two cents?
I am not only talking about only money here.
What do I have that I can give to God?

Have you ever kept your two cents because it was just so little?
Have you ever kept your two cents, thinking other people may despise your gifts?

Even though it is not much, would you still offer to God because you love God?
Again, I am not talking about only money here.
And would you give your two cents to God in the name of Jesus?

So think about it.
What are your cents that you would give to God to say:
“I love you, God.”

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you that you understand the poor and you are interested in them.
Thank you that you love the poor.
May we be the church that loves the poor, and welcome God’s poor.
In Jesus name, we pray.