What Jesus Did! 'Cheats Who Are Not Concerned' — Mark 12:40

Thursday, September 12, 2024

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[Jesus continued talking about hypocritical religious teachers:] "Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be more severely punished."
— Mark 12:40 NLT

Key Thought

In the previous verses (Mark 12:38-39), Jesus described the teachers of the law as wanting places of honor and loving to be recognized as important. Here he emphasized that these teachers cheat widows and then act very pious by saying long prayers in public to cover up their thievery. Does this sound familiar? TV preachers who constantly make pleas for money, some of whom have been caught cheating those who have contributed to them, have given Christianity and Christian ministry a bad name. Jesus made it clear that not only will such charlatans and cheats be held accountable, but they also will be punished more severely. Why? Isn't all sin the same in the sight of God? No! People in position of trust are held to higher standards. When they abuse the people of God for their own gain, they face additional wrath and judgment from God!

Today's Prayer

Father, bless those who sacrifice to lead your people. Protect them from harm. Don't let Satan's attacks discourage and defeat them. On the other hand, dear Father, please defeat and remove any who pretend to lead your people, but who are using their position to make themselves rich or cheat those they claim to serve. Please bring them to repentance, I pray, in Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Peter 5:1-4
  • James 3:1
  • Luke 12:42-48


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Illustration of Mark 12:40 NLT — "Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be more severely punished."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.