Jesus poked the hornets’ nest when he said, “Watch out for those law-lovers who strut about in long robes, pray long prayers, and take the best seats at banquets.” It was a provocative statement because Jesus was standing in the temple courts when he said it. He was surrounded by long-robed men.
“These men devour widows’ houses,” added Jesus. No doubt some of the long-robed men were upset to hear this. Perhaps they got defensive. “I never devoured a widow’s house.”
“Follow me to the treasury,” said Jesus. There he and his followers sat down to watch people bringing their offerings. Right on cue, as if it had been pre-ordained, a poor widow dropped in two copper coins.
“Those two coins might not look like much,” said Jesus, “but that was her grocery money. She needed that to live, yet she gave it away. Now she has nothing left.”
Jesus was not praising the widow’s generosity as much as rebuking the rich who steal from the poor. The same practice continues today whenever religious threats are made. “If you don’t tithe you’re robbing God. If you don’t tithe you’ll be cursed. If you don’t tithe you’re going to hell.”
How does religion devour the poor? By threatening them in the name of God, so that in terror they give everything they have, right down to their last penny.
The law was the shadow, but Jesus is the reality.
Just as God doesn’t expect you to slaughter sheep at the altar, nor does he expect you to tithe your crops. Jesus is the Lamb of God, your sacrificial offering and tithe.
“These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” (Colossians 2:17)
Extracted from the book Stuff Jesus Never Said
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