35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, “Why do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared:
“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I put your enemies
under your feet.”’[h]
37 David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”
The large crowd listened to him with delight.
38 As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”
41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
Why Does David Call the Messiah Lord?
Some people see the widow’s offering as something to be emulated. However, Jesus has just commented about how Pharisees devour widows’ houses. I believe this widow to be one such unfortunate. Jesus does contrast the amount she gives with the amount the Pharisees give. They give out of a bounty but she gives out of the little she has. She gives to a corrupt structure that should take care of her, but the ones who look after her will line their own pockets rather than fulfil their duty. It is a tragic scene.
In contrast with the story of the exploited widow, Jesus hints at something greater than the corrupt temple system. The Jewish people expected a king like David, they did not expect a king who would transcend David. Jesus openly claims to be more than a mere king, as the world defines kings. He claims that the Messiah is above David.
Jesus is still above our expectations. Our ideas about him are limited by the bounds of our own minds. Our systems are corrupt and exploit people for gain. However, Jesus established a Kingdom that even transcends the ideal kingdom of David. In that kingdom there is no room for corruption.
Jesus our systems empty our pockets and exploit the poor. We give money to people who can work but don’t. We take money from people who are in need. Bamks have shown themselves to be run by corrupt, greedy people. The government of David was just and focused on you. Help us, as your people, to take care of the needy and be generous in giving. May we give you everything because there is no-one like you.
What does Jesus show to be true about the Messiah?
How did Pharisees run a corrupt system?
In your opinion was the widow to be emulated or pitied?
How does Jesus create a government that is superior to David’s?
How is the church doing in its care for widows and orphans? What about you?