Jesus must have tired of the constant verbal duel he experienced with religious leaders. The nit-picking and uncommitted scribes; the legalistic and often hostile Pharisees; the willing to compromise Herodians and the worldly Sadducees—all produced a constant harassment of our Lord.
I am convinced the ongoing conflict was due in part to the religious leaders’ irrelevant commitment to love. They obviously “didn’t get it.”
If there is one thing we can know about Jesus, His love was extravagant and consistent.
Love should change us. We should hear well the words of Paul: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves” (Phil. 3:2). We will never even come close to comprehending the love of Jesus until we develop this trait.
On one occasion found in Mark 12:41-44, Jesus did an unusual thing to illustrate love. He went to the temple and watched folks put money in the “offering plates.” The coins obviously made sounds as they were tossed in—the greater the offering the louder the noise.
As I began writing this article, my memory ran to my first church. I met Bob while he was in a drunken stupor. I took him home, helped sober him up, and witnessed to him about the love of Jesus Christ. Bob was saved. He professed his faith in Christ the next Sunday and immediately began to grow as a believer.
One Sunday we were short an usher to receive the offering. We had just moved into our new building and had not yet carpeted the concrete floor. We also had purchased new brass offering plates—you know where I am headed with this story. You’re right. Bob dropped the brass plate on the concrete floor and expressed his opinion about the experience with expletives he had not yet exchanged for church words! The noise seemed eternal.
I suspect the noise made by the “big givers” in the Temple was similar to the noise created by Bob in my little church.
Then a widow came with two mites. These were the smallest of coins. One writer called them “the thin ones.” They were certainly not capable of making much noise. But Jesus heard love that day as the widow expressed her gratitude.
It has been my joy to watch people grow in the Lord. Changed lives! Discipleship! Stewardship! Missions! At some point disciples realize financial responsibility is a way of love and it is refreshing to hear their love for others. We have enough noise.
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