Posted by: pmarkrobb | April 11, 2017

His all

It’s truly a tall task to take on the totality of Tuesday.  There is SO MUCH that can be written of Jesus’ experience of this specific day in His final week before giving His all.  It’s no wonder the religious leaders would be plotting, and soon shouting for, His death.  At every turn today, Jesus had their number.  It started right out of the gate as they challenged His authority.  Instead of giving them a direct answer, Jesus confounds them with a “for those who have ears to hear” sort of scenario.  He often used those words at the end of His stories (parables) to emphasize that His teaching was not intended to inform those whose hearts were hardened against Him.  In challenging the religious leaders that morning with His question about John, He revealed their hardheartedness in their non-answer.  They calculated and postured.  He refused to answer directly, because they truly weren’t asking a question.  Their hearts were hardened toward Him, and the truth in His answer would have fallen as a seed on the footpath (from His parable of the good soil in Matthew 13).  Jesus’ refusal to answer directly mirrors His explanation of why he teaches using story near the end of the parable of the good soil:

That is why I use these parables,
For they look, but they don’t really see.
They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.

Matthew 13:13 (NLT)

Jesus follows up His non-answer with a story meant to teach those who had ears to hear.  Thus began a pattern of challenge and story which continued throughout the day.  How incredibly disgusted the religious elite must have been by the time the sun set on their Tuesday.  Repeatedly they tested and tried to trap Him, and repeatedly He confounded and amazed them.  His stories are central on this day, but it is His singular deviation from the pattern of challenge and story that has me seeing Him most clearly today.

At some point during His Tuesday, Jesus takes a seat near the collection box in the temple.  The temple looks dramatically different than it did just the day before.  He observes all who come to offer their gifts of money.  There is no indication of how long He sat observing, but there was one gift He had been anticipating.  He knew who the woman was.  He knew she was coming.  He was fully God.  At the proper time, He took His seat and began waiting for her.  Can’t you just see it being the one thing He’d been looking forward to all day?

Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.
Mark 12:41 (NLT)

The HCSB translation describes them as “two tiny coins worth very little.”  Yet, here is how the One who spoke the world into being describes her gift:

“I assure you: This poor widow has put in more than all those giving to the temple treasury.”
Mark 12:43 (HCSB)

In observing her gift, Jesus calls His disciples over and calls attention to what just happened.  Any other person, sitting as Jesus, did would have called over their friends to point out the most prominent person … the most extravagant gift.  Jesus did as well, it’s just that His definition of prominence and extravagance are far different.  Jesus says the worth of the widow’s gift is more that everyone else’s … combined!  Her two tiny coins in kingdom currency are worth more than the full store houses of this world.

And then Jesus says something of this widow that He will say of another servant woman tomorrow … she gave all that she had.  He says it this way:

“… she out of her poverty has put in everything she possessed—all she had to live on.”
Mark 12:44b (HCSB)

Sitting in the temple that day, the One who was about to give His all for us, called attention to another who gave her all for Him.

The pattern of Jesus’ life seems to speak to the power of one.  The number of times He spent time with, served, healed, forgave just one is significantly greater than the times he did so for crowds of many.  On this day when the crowds far outweigh the one, how much more beautiful is this tiny moment between the poor widow with her two tiny coins and her Master?  On this sacred Tuesday, may the One who gave His all recognizing the one who gave her all challenge us with whether we are giving our all.


Responses

  1. Father, might we continue to “watch”, with Your provided “eyes to see”, as this week unfolds.

    “Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.” Psalm 127:1


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