Beware of Thieves
by Ronald W Robey

It has been said by many that in the story of the widow who put her last two mites in the Temple Treasury, she was being commended by Jesus after she did so.

I am not so sure this was the case. Notice:

Mark 12:38-44 And he said unto them in his doctrine, BEWARE OF THE SCRIBES, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: WHICH DEVOUR WIDOWS HOUSES, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation. And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

If one reads the text in context, (beginning at verse 38) one will see Jesus was warning of religious leaders who, “devour widow’s houses”. He then sits against a wall across from the Treasury.  Lo and behold, a widow comes and drops all her living into the Treasury.

What I see in that text is Jesus pointing out a destitute woman has just been robbed, not that He was commending her. Her money could have purchased some needed things that she lacked, but she put it in the Treasury? Why?

The scribes, the lawmakers, had demanded the widow’s needed money.

Perhaps this is why we see in the New Testament, (post-crucifixion) a change in teaching on money.

Prior to the cross, there were requirements from God for certain monetary values to be given to the Temple. There were additional monetary demands imposed on the children of Israel by the religious leaders of the Temple. Yet, in the rimes that God did command money be given to the Tabernacle or the Temple, not one command is given for a monetary tithe to be given to the House of God,… not one.

In the New Covenant, we find no set required amount imposed upon the faithful in Christ.  Instead, we see exhortation to give as we see need and as we are able. No unnecessary burdens laid upon the people of God.

Many pastors today emulate the unjust scribes of Mark 12. They impose monetary burdens and financial distress upon their congregations through a man-made monetary tithe requirement that is totally foreign to either Old or New Testament texts, and in many churches, multiple offerings in a single service.  In these unjust collections, not only do they rob widows houses, but they also oppress the hireling in his wages.  They demand a cut of the hard-worker’s weekly earnings, even though they had no part in his labor to receive his earnings.   These religious leaders are preventing many in their congregations from properly feeding themselves and their families, they are obstructing the congregant’s ability to purchase needed medical attention, etc..

Jesus’ words of warning should be heeded by all. “Beware of those who devour widows houses!”

And yet, many are deceived by their religious leaders demands and threats.

Truly disheartening.

Yes, the meeting place does have its bills, i.e.; electric, water & sanitation, telephone, etc.. However, if getting those bills paid means that even one member may have to suffer lack for his or her own household or health needs, then the meeting place should close its doors.  The Apostle Paul told the saints at Corinth:

2 Corinthians 8:13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:

Many Pastors and spiritual leaders today demonstrate little or no sympathy for their members. They impose monetary offering demands on the congregation that God never authorized.

May they repent of their wickedness before their day of judgment.  If they fail to repent, Jesus declares that they will receive the greater damnation.

Advertisements