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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Mark 12

 

 

Verse 2

2. He sent… a servant — Matthew says servants, in the plural. Doubtless Mark specifies the principal servant or messenger, who was attended by many others. This is implied in the fifth verse, where it is said that he sent another servant, and him they killed, and many others, beating some and killing some. Mark, being the more minute in his details, may be supposed to give with more exactness the Lord’s words.


Verse 3

3. Beat him, and sent him away empty — Mark minutely describes the gradual climax of their advancing villany. This servant was only beaten and dismissed empty, that is, without any payment or rentage. They at first scarce dared little more than the withholding the due. The second servant is so wounded in the head and shamefully treated that it seems not worth while to add that he departed unpaid. The third, with his retinue, undergoes beating and slaughter.


Verses 13-17

THE HERODIANS ATTACK JESUS, Mark 12:13-17.

(See notes on Matthew 22:15-22.)


Verses 18-27

THE SADDUCEES ATTACK JESUS, Mark 12:18-27.

(See notes on Matthew 22:23-33.)


Verse 25

25. Are as the angels — Their bodies are divested of their earthly grossness and become ethereal and glorious. As none are born in heaven, so none are married. The appetites of the body, and all the affection thereon founded, cease. The love in heaven may be the continuance of love on earth. It will doubtless often exist between the same parties. But it will be purer, more blissful, and glorious.


Verse 26

26. In the bush — See Exodus 3:6. THE CANDID SCRIBE, Mark 12:28-34.

(See notes on Matthew 22:34-40.)


Verse 41

41. Jesus sat over against the treasury — The successive contests with rulers, Herodians, Pharisees, Sadducees, are scarce concluded, and the rage of his enemies like a fire is burning. But from those high excitements the Lord subsides not into reaction, but to a calm tranquillity. No unholy passion disturbs his soul, no wounded recollection haunts his conscience, no plot of murder excites his fancy. He rushes not from the temple but seats himself in self-possessed repose, watching the doings at the temple treasury.

In the court of the women, near the pillars that lined its square, there stood ranged at due intervals eleven chests, of a trumpet form, to receive the offerings of Israel. (See our temple plan.) These offerings were not the tribute for the government, but the donation of liberal hearts for the expenses of the temple. They were indications, more or less sincere, of the value set by the offerer upon the worship and the house of God.

Many that were rich cast in much — The fact of their wealth destroys not the merit of a genuine liberality. For experience shows that a wealthy purse is no enlargement of a covetous heart. The rich in pocket are often poor in soul and scanty in liberality. Hence, all the more noble is the picture of the wealthy man, rich in soul, who from his abundance gives his much. This is the most truly enviable point in the fortune of the rich.


Verses 41-44

THE TWO MITES OF THE POOR WIDOW, Mark 12:41-44.

This beautiful narrative is given by Mark and Luke alone.


Verse 42

42. A certain poor widow — Our Lord had just been launching reproofs against the proud who devoured widows’ houses. As if from the dim distance one of these widows seems to have appeared, whose house, perhaps, had been devoured, and in whose behalf our Lord had denounced the judgments of God.

She threw in two mites — A mite was the smallest of Jewish coins; it was the fifth part of a cent. Less than a mite the widow could not contribute. To give a mite was a fair donation, but she will be munificent to God’s house and double the sum! The rabbins, however, seem to have had a rule forbidding the contribution of less than two mites.


Verse 43

43. Called unto him his disciples — There was a sight to see, and a lesson to learn. It is true that the contributions made by these pious souls were likely to be wasted by a profligate hierarchy. But still the poor widow intends it as an offering to God. It is the evidence of her faith and love, not for the den of thieves, but for the house of God and the God of that house. Hath cast more in — Not more in pecuniary amount, but more in the amount of faith and heart. God estimates the liberality according to the ability of the giver. And so the Saviour, who now sat to behold and bless the widow’s offering, forever lives, forever watches, and forever blesses the offerings of the faithful heart and the liberal hand in his cause. And the judgment that he now passes sitting at the treasury, he will finally confirm when he sits upon the throne.

 


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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Mark 12:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/mark-12.html. 1874-1909.

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