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Sunday 24 October Matt Meek

Confronting the Heart

Matt unpacks Gospel of Mark 12:13-44 and encourages us to examine our hearts: are we concerned with the things of God? He reminds us that we're made in God's image and our heart is what he desires.

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Life Group Questions

Sunday 24 October

Session 12: Mark 12:13-44

Read Mark 12:13-44

Discuss

Look at Mark 12:13–17. What powerful group challenges Jesus? How does he deal with their challenge?

Now examine Mark 12:18–27. Who comes at Jesus? What does he say that nullifies their argument?

Take a look at Mark 12:28–34. Who steps up to the plate this time? What’s the result?

Read Mark 12:38–40. Whom does he warn against? What aspect of them is he condemning?

Now read verses 41–44. We see a living example of Jesus’s teaching in the preceding verses. How does Jesus’s response to the widow’s miniscule offering reflect his perspective on power?

Bible Background: What exactly was a widow’s “mite”?

Jesus observed a poor widow quietly putting her donation into the temple coffers, praising her “mite” over the abundance that the Pharisees ostentatiously poured in. What exactly is a mite? The word is a contraction of “minute,” from the Latin minutum, which is the translation of the Greek word lepton— the very smallest copper coin. Two mites made a farthing, or one kodrantes (quadrant), i.e., the fourth part of a Roman as.

How much might a mite be worth? Two of them together paid a farmworker’s wage for about ten minutes’ work. The poor widow—the Greek term specifies that she was a pauper—gave both coins. The fact that her donation consisted of two tiny coins is significant. She might have kept back one, but in spite of her extreme poverty she cast in all that she had.

What was Jesus’s judgment on the widow?

Now, compare her story to that of Ananias and Sapphira, a couple in the early church who also gave to support God’s ministry. Read Acts 5:1–11.

What similarities and differences do you notice between the two stories?

Reflect on your own willingness to give generously.