Sunday, November 4, 2018

Proper 27 study notes

Series B
Proper 27
Mark 12:38-44

O Lord, by Your bountiful goodness release us from the bonds of our sins, which by reason of our weakness we have brought upon ourselves, that we may stand firm until the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.
Lord, grant us humble hearts and willing spirits to fulfill our callings faithfully.
“Take my life and let it be Consecrated, Lord, to Thee; Take my moments and my days, Let them flow in ceaseless praise." (LSB 783:1)l
The Lord Freely Feeds and Provides for Us with Everything He Has
Corban” [N] [S]
A Hebrew word adopted into the Greek of the New Testament and left untranslated. It occurs only once ( Mark 7:11 ). It means a gift or offering consecrated to God. Anything over which this word was once pronounced was irrevocably dedicated to the temple. Land, however, so dedicated might be redeemed before the year of jubilee (See Leviticus 27:16-24). Our Lord condemns the Pharisees for their false doctrine, inasmuch as by their traditions they had destroyed the commandment which requires children to honor their father and mother, teaching them to find excuse from helping their parents by the device of pronouncing "Corban" over their goods, thus reserving them to their own selfish use. Was this the issue with the rich young man in Proper 23?
Those who contribute “large sums” from “out of their abundance” have done very little. They cannot purchase God’s favor with their money. But “the poor widow” with her two small coins, who “out of her poverty has put in everything she had,” entrusts herself and her life to the mercy of God (Mark 12:41–44). Such faith is not disappointed, for the Lord is faithful, and He provides for His people by His grace. Thus was the poor widow of Zarephath able to feed the Prophet Elijah “for many days,” as well as herself and her household, “according to the word of the Lord that He spoke by Elijah” (1 Kings 17:15–16). He feeds us, too, by His Word, not only with daily bread for this body and life, but unto the life everlasting in Christ Jesus. “By the sacrifice of Himself,” by the giving of His body and life and all that He had, He has entered “into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf” (Hebrews 9:24–26). He is our great High Priest and the Temple of God, as well as the priestly food with which He feeds us.
Jesus warns against using self-serving religion to elevate ourselves above others. Clergy especially need to listen to Jesus at this point. Jesus shows all religious leaders and scholars the model for their leadership; humility, service, and sacrifice. For His sacrifice has atoned for us all.
Jesus uses the sacrifice of a widow to illustrate for His disciples the character of absolute dependence on God. Wealth and possession can pose a spiritual threat - wealth has a way of owning its possessor. Jesus' love and sacrifice motivate us to offer our whole lives to Him as our daily offering of gratitude. He gave up everything, including His life, on the cross for us.
- The sacrifices of God - a sacrifice of faith. Jesus compliments a poor widow for her sacrificial gift to the temple.
Vv. 38-40 serves as an introduction. Jesus warns the disciples against the scribes, for in their greed they devour widows' houses. By contrast we see an impoverished widow who places two of the smallest coins, worth a penny, into the temple's treasury. Jesus is sitting across from the offering boxes and observes the gift being given. He calls attention to the widow's penny in contrast to the million-dollar gifts of the rich.  He claims that she gave more than any other, because she gave out of her poverty while others gave out of their abundance.
A widow was almost always poor because she had no husband to support her. There was no insurance policies, no death benefits plan, no Social Security. Because she was extremely poor, she could have been excused from giving to the Lord's treasury. Rather she should have been given something from the treasury. Her gift proved that she was not poor spiritually. She had the riches of faith in God to motivate her.
Mark 12:38-44

Beware of the Scribes

Mark 12:38
Καὶ ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ ἔλεγεν• Βλέπετε ἀπὸ τῶν γραμματέων τῶν θελόντων ἐν στολαῖς περιπατεῖν καὶ ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς 
And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces

-Beware of false piety. Everything we do has meaning, makes a statement. 

Mark 12:39
καὶ πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς καὶ πρωτοκλισίας ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις,
and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts,

The teaching seat as well as the best seats in the house. The covetous nature of the heart. 

Mark 12:40
οἱ κατεσθίοντες τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι• οὗτοι λήμψονται περισσότερον κρίμα.
who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

"For a pretense" they devour widows's houses to receive them that is the house as well as the property.

The Widow's Offering

Mark 12:41
Καὶ καθίσας κατέναντι τοῦ γαζοφυλακίου ἐθεώρει πῶς ὁ ὄχλος βάλλει χαλκὸν εἰς τὸ γαζοφυλάκιον• καὶ πολλοὶ πλούσιοι ἔβαλλον πολλά
And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums.

See John 8:20 Jesus taught, "in the treasury" in which money was earmarked for the support of the widows and the poor.

Mark 12:42
καὶ ἐλθοῦσα μία χήρα πτωχὴ ἔβαλεν λεπτὰ δύο, ὅ ἐστιν κοδράντης.
And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.[a] 

Mark 12:42 Greek two lepta, λεπτὰ, which make a kodrantes; a kodrantes (Latin quadrans) was a Roman copper coin worth about 1/64 of a denarius (which was a day's wage for a laborer) Example: $100/64=$1.56  

Mark 12:43
καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ [d]εἶπεν αὐτοῖς• Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ἡ χήρα αὕτη ἡ πτωχὴ πλεῖον πάντων ἔβαλεν τῶν βαλλόντων εἰς τὸ γαζοφυλάκιον
And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box.

The only works recognized are those given in faith. Pride and wealth are connected once again!

Mark 12:44
πάντες γὰρ ἐκ τοῦ περισσεύοντος αὐτοῖς ἔβαλον, αὕτη δὲ ἐκ τῆς ὑστερήσεως αὐτῆς πάντα ὅσα εἶχεν ἔβαλεν, ὅλον τὸν βίον αὐτῆς.
For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Literally, "her whole life"

ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software

Hebrews 9:24-28
Rev. Dr. Daniel J Brege

Our Epistle for the 25th Sunday after Pentecost (Hebrews 9:24-28) is of tremendous importance in that it demonstrates Christ’s work to be the fulfillment of what was done in Old Testament worship.  This worship, linked to the priestly work in the Tabernacle, pointed to Christ, His cross and His empty tomb.

A key statement is the second half of verse 26: He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.  Christ is here clearly described as the fulfillment of the sacrificial actions performed on the Old Testament Day of Atonement.

On that most holy day of Old Testament worship the sins of the entire nation of Israel were being “atoned” for.  Several unique things happened on the yearly Day of Atonement:  The high priest was the only one to perform the sacrifices.  Unlike any other sacrifice, the sacrificial blood was sprinkled toward the Mercy Seat located in the Most Holy Place.  The high priest alone could enter this Most Holy Place uniquely on this one day out of the year, and then he quickly had to exit.  The Day of Atonement was also recognized as the conclusion and embodiment of all the sacrifices offered for sin during the previous year. The high priest was like a basket carrying the sins related to the various sin offerings from the previous year.  Then, needing atonement also for his own sins, he emptied the basket of the sins of the nation on the Day of Atonement sacrifices. (Note: There were other solemn and special activities on that day as well.)

So then why did Christ have to die if these sacrifices were “taking care of” sin?  These sacrifices were like credit cards paying a debt, and they only dealt with the sins of the people of Israel.  As with every credit card debt the day of reckoning must come.  In the fullness of time Christ comes, and by His once-for-all sacrifice He pays off the sin-debt incurred by the Old Testament people of Israel, the sin-debt that was forestalled by the “credit card” of the atonement sacrifices. But he doesn’t just pay off their sin-debt, He pays the sin-debt incurred by every human…past, present and future!  No more sacrificial “credit cards” are needed after Christ offered himself as the once-for-all sacrifice.

Christ is the ultimate and final high priest who carries not just the sins of Israel but the sins of the entire world.  He does not have to place any sins on an unwilling sacrificial beast, for he, unlike Aaron et al, is sinless and thus His body is a pure—yet empty—basket. And because He is God this empty basket is able to be filled with all the sins of mankind. He then “put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”  After entering the Holy Place of heaven, pleading our case with His blood at the heavenly mercy seat, He does not need to exit—and indeed He will not exit until Judgment Day.  On that day He will exit and we will stand before Him justified by His sacrificial blood!

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