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

Monday, September 12, 2016

"They are mean to widows and steal their homes. Then they try to make themselves look good by saying long prayers. God will punish them very much."
— Mark 12:40 NLT
Illustration of Mark 12:40 NLT — "They are mean to widows and steal their homes. Then they try to make themselves look good by saying long prayers. God will punish them very much."

Key Thought

In the previous verses, Jesus had described the teachers of the law as wanting places of honor and loving to be recognized as important. Here he emphasizes 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 makes 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 judgement 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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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

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.