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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke


8. Jesus Warns Against the Teachers of the Law (Luke 20:45-47)

LUKE 20:45-47
45 Then in the hearing of all the people, He said to His disciples, 46 “Beware of the scribes, who desire to walk in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, 47 who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”

No one answered Christ’s decisive statement, fearing his glory, as coming from God and taking the form of a man. The leaders remained silent, the people also kept silent, and the disciples did not testify.

Then the Son of God spoke to the hearers who were near to him, and condemned the professional scribes, doctors of the law, who ought to understand better than anyone else the meaning of the verse (in Psalms 110:1), but failed in due time, in spite of their knowledge.

Jesus warned his followers against professing hypocrites who loved boasting before the people, as teachers of the way of God. In fact, they had paved the way to hell through their strict, scrupulous interpretations of the law. They did not recognize Christ, the straight way to God.

However, they were self-conceited and pretentious, broadening their phylacteries, lengthening the tassels of their garments, expecting submission. They loved the first place at feasts and meeting rooms, as if they were of great importance, and making long prayers full of resounding words.

Many distressed widows were deluded by these pretenses. Finding no spiritual advice or illumination, they resorted to the scribes, who condescended to accept considerable amounts of money from those widows in exchange for advice. They agreed to sit at their rich feasts, pretending reverence, and abstinence from the food of the poor, at the same time enjoying delicious food and drink.

Christ said that those hypocrites would receive a greater judgment, both for denying his glory, and for becoming more hardened against him. Furthermore for their abuse of religion, and particularly their spiritual office which they used to cover their wicked projects.

9. The Widow's Two Coins (Luke 21:1-4)

LUKE 21:1- 4
1 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, 2 and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. 3 So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; 4 for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”

When he had finished his instructions and warnings, and summed up his predictions about judgment and divine woe, Jesus left the Temple, having completed his gospel of salvation for all men.

At the large door of the Temple there was a chest where gifts could be deposited. Christ saw the rich casting large amounts of money into the chest. God was not pleased with those large donations of the rich, for they gave of their abundance, maybe hoping to reserve for themselves a distinguished place in heaven, or to ease their consciences. Their gifts were like hush money to God. Nobody gave sacrificially, nor was his gift a token of his complete commitment to God. If all our rites, sermons, and contributions do not lead us to sacrifice our life completely to God, we are hypocrites.

Jesus also saw a poor, desolate widow, perhaps a servant who cleaned on her knees the palaces of the rich, to provide for herself and her children. The Lord had compassion on her, and his heart was filled with joy when he saw that this poor widow loved God rather than the little money she had. She gave her heart completely as a gift to God through her humble offering, represented by two mites. Yet those two mites from the hand of the widow were in heaven like two mountains of gold, for she gave to God all the living that she had, trusting him, loving him, and depending on his providence.

This widow represents the remnant of the faithful in the nation of the Old Testament, who committed herself completely to God after the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit, laid all her living at the apostles’ feet, and lived with them in the fellowship of love.

The widow’s two mites are in fact the financial foundation and support of the church and its preaching. It is not large donations that financially support the continuance of the kingdom of God, but continuous small ones, which God blesses with his authority. So when will you start to sacrifice your money continuously for spreading the kingdom of God, joyfully and without hesitation?

PRAYER: O Lord Jesus Christ, you have sacrificed your life for us. Forgive our selfishness, meanness, and trust in money. Soften our hard hearts that we may not speak hypocritically as self-righteous, or rely secretly on money, but commit ourselves and our money into your hands.

QUESTION 124: Why did Jesus condemn the scribes and praise the poor widow?


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