Yesterday the Lord silenced the Sadducees, and today the Lord silences the Pharisees – “But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
The first command to love the Lord covers the first four of the Ten Commandments: 1) You shall have no other gods before Me. 2) You shall not make idols. 3) You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. 4) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. And the second command to love your neighbor covers the next six of the Ten Commandments, making the law applicable to us today: 5) Honor your father and your mother. 6) You shall not murder. 7) You shall not commit adultery. 8) You shall not steal. 9) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 10) You shall not covet.
Jesus asks the Pharisees whose Son Christ is. The Pharisees respond that He is the Son of David. So Jesus responds saying “how can the Son be from David if David even calls Him Lord” (Psalm 110:1). “And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.”
Jesus warns the multitude and His disciples of the hypocritical religious leaders – “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation… Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
Just because someone has a leadership position in the church does not mean that they are pleasing to the Lord. Actually, Jesus is repulsed by these rich, fake, and showy religious leaders. However, there is one in the temple that Jesus sees who catches His heart. Jesus pulls His disciples in to show them a person the world neglects. But not Jesus. It takes spiritual illumination to see as the Lord sees – “And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, ‘Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; 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.’”
Jesus never publicly addresses the faithful widow. However, He saw her and He was pleased, and that is all that matters!
Tomorrow Jesus tells His disciples what awaits them in the future. Keep reading. (Mark 12:28-34, Matthew 22:34-40, Mark 12:35-37, Matthew 22:41-46, Luke 20:41-44, Mark 12:38-40, Matthew 23:1-12, Luke 20:45-47, Matthew 23:13-39, Mark 12:41-44, Luke 21:1-4)