Just days before going to the cross, while teaching his disciples in the Temple courtyards, Jesus issues a strong warning to avoid being like the Scribes, and also points to a profound example in one very poor widow. How can we hear this warning and follow this example without falling into the behavioral moralism that is our heart’s natural tendency? This sermon unpacks what it means to be poor in spirit as the only gospel response of our hearts that enables us to avoid the religiosity of the Scribes on the one hand, and embrace the example of worshipful response we see in the widow on the other hand.
45 And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 47 who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
21:1 Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, 2 and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. 3 And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. 4 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”