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Jesus Teaches In The Temple


Mark 12:35-44

In this passage we find Jesus doing what Jesus did most often and that is teaching.

And the reason He continues to teach is because the “truth” is that important and error must be exposed.

 So in this passage we find Jesus teaching…teaching in the temple.

Jesus is teaching in the temple…and from what verse 37 tells us, a “great crowd” had gathered to hear Him.

Now basically, that is His question.

Do you know why you don’t see His answer?

I think Jesus is trying to get these people, and that is who He is talking to here, the people.

When it came to the scriptures, for hundreds of years, these people have had others do their studying and thinking for them.

Turn to Matthew 23 and look at verse 13. Jesus says:

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from men; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

 Look at verse 15:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel about on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

 These people went to the temple…and they went to their synagogues…and the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees and the Sadducees would teach them…and because their teachers were wrong… the people were becoming just like them.

And what about some of us?

You would like to think that every preacher and teacher and pastor and priest were sincere…and honest…and taught the truth.

John tells us in I John 4 that “many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

There are no telling how many different teachings today on what it takes to be saved.

Have you ever sat down with your Bible and studied to find out if, what you have been taught pertaining to what it takes to be saved is true?

Jesus is trying to get these people to think and study for themselves.

Today, there are some major denominations who would prefer that their people do not study the Bible.

You study your Bibles…and if necessary you keep this preacher on track.

Let’s go on. Look at verses 38-40.

Jesus continues to teach and in these verses He warns the people and in doing so, He warns us.  Look what he says:

  “Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and {like} respectful greetings in the market places,         and chief seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at banquets, who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation.”

Now, what ever these scribes were doing I don’t want to do.

Well, let me explain some of these phrases to you.

However, if you wore a long robe that indicated that you belonged to the minority leisure class.

He says: “They like the respectful greeting in the market place.”

He says that they “like the chief seats in the synagogue.”

Jesus says that they “like the places of honor at banquets.”

He says, “they devour widows houses.”

He says: “They offer long prayers for appearance sake.”

 These men were exalting and glorying in themselves.

It was a show! An act!

Hear me once again.

Not only that, to use your standing as a “follower of Christ” or as a “child of God” to “take advantage of or fleece your brothers and sisters in Christ…especially the widows” is a shameful act.

And don’t fool yourself. When it comes to your devotion to God…to your worship to God…He knows if you are sincere or if it is all for show.

 And now, verses 41-44. In these verses Jesus sits down opposite of the treasury and he watches the people as they put their money in the treasury.

 When you look at what most commentators say about this passage they always talk about how pompous the rich people were in giving….and how they put on this big show…and blew trumpets when they gave…so that the people would notice.

But that is not found here in this passage.

What is said here is, this poor widow who put in “what would be considered as a very small amount…especially in comparison to what others gave…put in more than all the others…because she had less to give from.”

Jesus teaches here because He wants us to be right with God.

He not only wants us to take responsibility for our own beliefs…but He also doesn’t want us to exalt ourselves over others.

He wants us to do that which is right…and to be sincere in our worship and devotion to God.

And Jesus wants us to realize that the one who gives completely of themselves is one who is most pleasing to God.

Jesus wants us to be right with God.

What about you this morning? Are you right with God?