No and know
As things heat up in Marks gospel with Jesus now in Jerusalem and in contact with the Jewish leaders, there is a subtle comparsion going on in the background. But it can be easy to miss.
Time and time again we have the Pharisees and Teachers of the law questioning Jesus, seeking to trap him in his words. These leaders of God’s people should have been the first to know, who Jesus was. They were the ones who new Gods word back to front. They would have know the prophecy regarding Gods coming king. Yet often out of jealous they say, no to this king:
12 Then the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away. Mark 12:12
This then is where we began to see the comparsion. After repeated attempts by the leaders to pull Jesus down, to provoke him to error publically, there is a strange little interaction or what the NIV describes: The Widow’s Offering. It seems to be an unusual spot to put this a little commentary on the attitude to giving. But something more may lay behind this little tangent. The plot has constantly had the leaders in view. People who should have been the first to know who Jesus was and say yes to this king and lead the people in following him. Yet here with this widow we have someone who shouldn’t know. The widow and orphans were those who could be forgotten by the society at large and may have no access to the great learning of the religious leaders. Yet here in this little interaction it seems she is the one in the know.
For a better understanding of the challenges of Mark 13 you may like to see Steve’s Cree Study (or podcast) from his 2010 CRPC series on Mark:
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