Faith and Privilege

S (Scripture): Mark 12:38 In his teaching Jesus also said, “Watch out for the experts in the law. They like walking around in long robes and elaborate greetings in the marketplaces, 39 and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour widows’ property, and as a show make long prayers. These men will receive a more severe punishment.”

41 Then he sat down opposite the offering box, and watched the crowd putting coins into it. Many rich people were throwing in large amounts. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, worth less than a penny. 43 He called his disciples and said to them, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the offering box than all the others. 44 For they all gave out of their wealth. But she, out of her poverty, put in what she had to live on, everything she had.”

O (Observation):  The commentary that goes with these verses sums up my observations today:

The contrast between this passage, 12:41-44, and what has come before in 11:27-12:40 is remarkable. The woman is set in stark contrast to the religious leaders. She was a poor widow, they were rich. She was uneducated in the law, they were well educated in the law. She was a woman, they were men. But whereas they evidenced no faith and actually stole money from God and men (cf. 11:17), she evidenced great faith and gave out of her extreme poverty everything she had.

A (Application):  How often do we find ourselves in positions of privilege?   I know how privileged I am.  Usually : )

I don’t think the focus is on privilege, though. Or even justice.  I think this is about faith.  

Like the Pharisees, I can find myself as an expert in religion and dressing the right way and saying the right things, but in doing so, I also may find it difficult to “need” Jesus…because I feel like I lack for nothing.   

And as the widow comes and gives all she has…she really has to go on faith that things will work out for her.    

My privilege impacts how my faith is lived out.  I hope I can remain aware of this.  I hope I can be moved to action to care for others around me, that I can look beyond myself to care for my neighbor. 

How is this struggle going with you?  Does this challenge you?  Does this fit your life?  Share below.  

P (Prayer): Lord, you gather us together, the rich and poor, the faithful and those struggling with faith.  Give your Spirit to us to move us closer towards one another.  Amen. 


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