The Heart of the Question
Lord, I ask You to teach me what I need to know today, even if it’s hard or makes me uncomfortable.
Read LUKE 20:41-21:4
 Then Jesus said to them, “How is it that they say the Christ is the Son of David?  David himself declares in the Book of Psalms: “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand  until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”‘  David calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”  While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples,  “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.  They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.”  As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury.  He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.  “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others.  All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy did Jesus commend this woman so warmly?
Jesus has shamed his questioners so decisively that no one dares to ask him any more questions. Now, he asks his own question, more subtle but still concerning his authority. If the Christ is a son of David, why does David call him “Lord” (44)? Effectively, he is asking “Who am I really?” The teachers of the Law are unable to answer. They have missed the most important question; they have failed to recognize the Son of God. Jesus shames them for their pride, for exploiting the poor, for making a mockery of prayer and the priesthood. This is not simply pitiable, ineffectual religion, it is seriously wrong, and Jesus delivers a serious warning.
Then his eye is caught by someone who has none of that pride or hypocrisy. She’s not important, interesting, talented or clever. Yet Jesus sees and commends the widow (3) above the rich and important religious leaders. She has given all her money, and so has given over to God her trust, her heart, her complete devotion. This is the fruit that God seeks from the tenants of the vineyard, and this is what they stubbornly refuse to give him.
Do you sometimes worry about whether you are recognized? If so, ask God to help you keep your eyes on him.
Lord, in the face of all the temptations and pressures I face, help me keep my faith strong and my priorities clear.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.