Who Can Please God? A Study In Contrasts
Then they came to Jerusalem. Jesus entered the temple area and began to drive out those who were selling and buying in the temple courts. He turned over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, and he would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. Then he began to teach them and said, “Is it not written: ‘ My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations ’? But you have turned it into a den of robbers !” The chief priests and the experts in the law heard it and they considered how they could assassinate him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed by his teaching. (Mark 11:15-18 NET)
These are MEN.
These are WEALTHY.
These are EDUCATED
They have every advantage available to them! They rule their culture and appear to be living in God’s blessing! Why don’t they please God? Why have they become THIEVES and REBELS and fallen under the King’s condemnation?
Then he sat down opposite the offering box, and watched the crowd putting coins into it. Many rich people were throwing in large amounts. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, worth less than a penny. He called his disciples and said to them, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the offering box than all the others. For they all gave out of their wealth. But she, out of her poverty, put in what she had to live on, everything she had.” (Mark 12:41-44 NET)
She is a woman.
Not just a woman – a widow – in the eyes of her culture she lives under a curse because God took her husband.
She is poor – another sign to the “common sense” thinking of her day that she is cursed by God.
She is uneducated – especially compared to those in the first passage. She probably learned the Psalms and Deuteronomy before her time as a student in her culture was over.
Why have they become thieves and rebels while she is blessed by the Messiah?
Simply put – she has what they lack. Trust.
Anyone can please God – man or woman, rich or poor, schooled or unschooled. What pleases God?