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Love God; Hate Lies

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Inhoud geleverd door Mosaic Boston. Alle podcastinhoud, inclusief afleveringen, afbeeldingen en podcastbeschrijvingen, wordt rechtstreeks geüpload en geleverd door Mosaic Boston of hun podcastplatformpartner. Als u denkt dat iemand uw auteursrechtelijk beschermde werk zonder uw toestemming gebruikt, kunt u het hier beschreven proces https://nl.player.fm/legal volgen.

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Heavenly Father, we thank you that you, the God of love, the living and loving God, sent your son Jesus Christ to live the life that we were supposed to live, he did it in our stead, and to die the death that we deserve to die for our law breaking. Jesus, we thank you that through your resurrection on that third day, on that first Sunday, the first resurrection day, you triumph over Satan's sin and death. The greatest enemies, our greatest enemies were placed as a foothold under your feet. Lord Jesus, we thank you that you are the life and the resurrection. You promise that whoever believes in you, though he die, will pass into eternal life. We thank you for the promise of the resurrection, that in the resurrection we will rise with glorified bodies, transformed bodies. We pray, Lord, that you continue to establish us by the power of the Holy Spirit in your will in obedience of faith.

We thank you for the Holy Scriptures, Lord, and as we meditate on how Christ read the Scriptures, how he revered the Scriptures, how he submitted to them, I pray that you make us some people who love the holy Word of God and make us some people that long to be truly devout, sincere in our faith, knowing that your opinion of us is the one that matters most. Lord, make us the people that hate hypocrisy, hate hypocrisy within ourselves, that distance between what we show to the world and what we are inside and make us the people of integrity, integrated within loving you with all of our heart, with all of our strength, with all of our mind and strength. Lord bless our time, the Holy Word. We pray this in Christ's name, amen.

We're continuing our sermon series through the Gospel of Mark called the Gospel of Mark and the Secret of God's Kingdom, Kingdom Come. The title of sermon today is Love God and Hate Lies. You've seen the yard sign, "Hate has no home here." Well, then God has no home there because God hates, and that sign hates God. God hates because God is love. Because he is love, there are things that he hates. In Proverbs 6:16-19 it says, "There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are in abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers."

Our God is a God of perfect holiness; therefore, he must hate evil to remain in perfect holiness. And our God is a God of infinite love; therefore, he must hate that which destroys the object of his love lest he isn't loving. To love is to hate. To love God is to hate Satan. To love good is to hate evil. Proverbs 8:13 says, "The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance in the way of evil and perverted speech I hate." Or Romans 12:9, "Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good." So to love truth, we must hate lies.

Psalm 119:163 says, "I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law." To love God's word is to hate any perversion of it, any adulteration of it, and to love the Gospel is to hate any false gospel. Galatians 1:8-9, "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed." Strong words.

A false gospel dishonors the person and the work of Christ, and Christ is the supreme object of God's love, the supreme display of his infinite goodness, and the one who accomplishes God's ultimate purpose to display his glory. In false gospels, they lead people away from Christ and the gospel by which they may be saved and enjoy forgiveness of sin, new life, and eternal happiness with God. God's love for people leads him to a place where he does hate that which leads them astray, which destroys them. And that's sin. God hates sin. In addition to its ugliness and opposition to the beauty of his holiness, sin ruins people. Therefore, loving God who loves people, he hates that which ruins them. True love hates that which hurts the object of God's love. To love sincerity is to hate hypocrisy. That's what we see in our text today, that Jesus hates hypocrisy. To conform to the image of Jesus Christ is to love what he loves and hate what he hates. Jesus loves God's Word; therefore, we are to love God's Word. Jesus loves the bride, the church; therefore, we are to love the church as Jesus did.

Today we're in Mark 12:35-44. Would you look at the text with me? "And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, 'How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?' David himself and the Holy Spirit declared, 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand until I your enemies under your feet. David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?"' And the great throng heard him gladly. And in his teaching he said, 'Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.'

And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins which make a penny. He called his disciples to him and said to them, 'Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.'" This is the reading of God's holy and errant and fallible authoritative word. May he write these eternal truths upon our hearts.

Three points to frame up our time. First, love the Scriptures like Jesus; second, hate hypocrisy like Jesus; and third, love sacrificial devotion like Jesus. First, love the Scriptures like Jesus. Having vanquished his opponents in a series of verbal duels against the synagogue, the Sanhedrin, the scribes of the Sanhedrin, we see this in Chapter 11, Chapter 12, he silenced the crowd. He silenced the religious establishment, the religious leaders. We know that through entering Jerusalem to the adulation of the crowds who cried out "Hosanna!" Then by entering the temple courtyard and driving out the merchants and the money changers, Jesus is throwing down the gauntlet. "Sanhedrin religious leaders, what are you going to do with the one who claims that he is the son of David, with the one who claims that the Messiah is here?"

Through his actions, Jesus is messing with the support and the cash flow of the Sanhedrin. So they confront him publicly, and privately they plot to kill him. Jesus overturns their tables, and now he turns the tables against them. After a day of them questioning him, now he questions them with the question of the day. And the question is, "Is Jesus Lord? If Jesus is Lord, Sanhedrin, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to submit to Christ as Lord?" This is Verse 35, "As Jesus taught in the temple, he said, 'How can the scribes say that the Christ is the Son of God?'" In the Greek where it says, "He taught in the temple," it says, "He answered," meaning, he's answering their silence. He has silenced them. They should have then humbled themselves and said, "Lord, we humble ourselves underneath your authority and the teaching of Scripture," But that's not what they do. So he now answers their proud silence by asking them a question.

Jesus had already entered Jerusalem in triumph. He has been hailed as the vanguard of David's restored dominion. This is the Messiah. He's here. The people have accepted him. Now Jesus is asking, "How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?" He used the word Christ, which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word for messiah, the one who is anointed to be king. Jesus had accepted the Messianic praises. He is the son of David. But by asking this question and by starting this conversation, what Jesus is getting at is, is the messiah only the son of David? Because if the messiah is only the son of David, then the messiah is only king of Israel. That's what they thought. That's what Israel thought that the messiah is going to be. Because David was the greatest king Israel ever had, the messiah is David's son; therefore, the messiah is going to be a king just like David, a king of only Israel.

This is where they wrongly assumed that God was the God of only Israel, that God was the God of only their people, only their nation. So Jesus here is expanding the definition of the messiah by asking, "How can the messiah be only David's son?" What the people could not see is that while Jesus came as Israel's Messiah, he didn't come to save Israel from Rome. He didn't come to save them from the occupying forces. He didn't come to restore Israel to their former glory. He came to save them. He came to save them from their sins, but not just them, also people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. Their expectations were not too high for the Messiah. They were too low. The scribes of Jesus' day interpreted the messianic prophecies to mean that Israel's messiah would be a biological descendant of David and a great king to return Israel to its greatness.

This makes all the more surprising what happens next. Jesus goes on the offensive, not against pagans, but against Jewish scribes who teach that the messiah is simply the son of David. So Jesus in Verse 36 says, "David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared, 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet."'" Here King Jesus quotes Psalm 1:10, which was authored by David, but Jesus doesn't say, "David himself declared." He says, "David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared." Here Jesus is revealing how he viewed Scripture, how he viewed the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament, as we call it, that the Holy Spirit is the one that penned the Scriptures through David, through the authors.

Here we see the Holy Trinity. The Spirit is writing through King David, and then it says the Lord, that first Lord in the Hebrew is Yahweh, that's God the Father, and the second Lord is Adonai, which is Lord, which is Jesus Christ. So God the Father says to God the Son, "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." We have the Holy Trinity right there in that text.

But how does this inform your understanding of Holy Scripture? Do you view Holy Scripture as Jesus did that it was written by the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. 2 Peter 1:16 says, "For we do not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father and the voice was born to him by the Majestic Glory, 'This is my beloved son with whom I'm well pleased,' we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns in the morning, star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."

I find J.C. Ryle's comments here extremely relevant. He says the following, "Let us learn in the first place from these verses how much there is about Christ in the Old Testament Scriptures. Our Lord desires to expose the ignorance of the Jewish teachers about the true nature of the Messiah." He does it by referring to a passage in the Book of Psalms and showing that the scribes did not rightly understand it. In so doing, he shows us that one subject about which David was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write was Christ. We know from our Lord's own words in another place that the Old Testament Scriptures testify of Christ, John 5:39, "They were intended to teach men about Christ by types and figures and prophecy until he himself should appear on Earth."

We should always keep this in mind in reading the Old Testament, but never so much as in reading the Psalms. Christ is undoubtedly to be found in every part of the law in the prophets, but nowhere is he so much to be found as in the Book of Psalms. His experience and sufferings as first coming into the world, his future glory and his final triumph as second coming are the chief subjects of many a passage in that wonderful part of God's word. It is a true saying that we should look for Christ quite as much as David in reading the Psalms.

Let us beware of undervaluing or despising the Old Testament. In its place and proportion, the Old Testament is just as valuable as the New. There are probably many rich passages in that part of the Bible which have never yet been fully explored. There are deep things about Jesus in it, which many walk over like hidden gold mines and know not the treasures beneath their feet. Let us reverence all the Bible. All is given by inspiration and all is profitable. One part throws light upon another, and no part can ever be neglected without loss and damage to our souls. A boastful contempt for the Old Testament Scriptures has often proved the first step towards infidelity.

So as Jesus quotes Psalm 110, one thing to note is that the New Testament quotes Psalm 110 more than any other text from the Old Testament. 33 times it quotes Psalm 110. I'll read the whole passage of Psalm 110:1, "The Lord says to my Lord, 'Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.' The Lord sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies! Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours. The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, 'You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.' The Lord is at your right hand; he shall shatter kings on the day of his wrath. He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he shall shatter chiefs over the wide earth. He will drink from the brook by the way; and therefore he will lift up his head." So the same Lord that is referred to in Verse 1 is also referred to in Verse 4. There we read, "The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind. You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek."

So we see here that not only is the Lord on the throne, not only is the Lord the King, but he's also the priest. He's not a priest according to the order of Levi. He's a priest according to the order of Melchizedek. So whoever this Messiah is, yes, he's the son of David, but he's so much greater. His dignity is so much more profound because he is eternal. He's an eternal priest, an eternal king. "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." The messiah was thought to be a biological ancestor of David. Yet, David here is saying, "No, the Messiah is greater than I am, much more exalted than I am." Possesses a far greater dignity than David's own. In fact, David calls the Messiah, "My Lord," and Jesus' question is here, "How is the son of David called Lord by David?"

That's the question of Verse 37. "David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son? And the great throng heard him gladly." The logic seems to be that no father calls a child or calls a son Lord. Therefore, if David calls the Messiah Lord, is it appropriate to call the Messiah just the son of David? How can the Messiah fulfill these prophecies about an eternal Messiah if he is simply David's son? This is what Jesus here is questioning. He's not denying his physical descent from King David. No. Jesus is from the tribe of Judah. He is the Lion of Judah.

What he's saying is, "I need to expand your definition of the messiah." He's not just the son of David. He's not just the messiah for Israel. He's also the Son of God. That's why David calls his son Lord. By asking this provocative question, Jesus is letting the people know he's the Lord. He's the Lord that David referred to. Yes, he's the son of David. He's also the Son of God. If he is David's Lord, then his messianic mission cannot be limited simply to restoring the nation of Israel to its former greatness.

Jesus' kingdom is not of this world; therefore, his kingdom is for the whole world. Jesus isn't just king of the Jews. He's not just king of Israel. He's not just king of Christians. He is king over everything. The question is, are we going to submit to him here and now and say, "Lord Jesus, I'm yours. I want to serve you. I love you. What would you have me do?" or do we wait until all of the enemies of Jesus Christ will be placed under his feet, including those who reject the gospel in this life?

The irony is that David's Lord and descendant is standing in the very same temple which was designed to point Israel to Jesus Christ, and they don't recognize him. Although the people were amazed at his words, they definitely didn't fully understand what Jesus is saying. If they had, in a few days they would not have cried out, "Crucify him!" They heard him greatly. They received him gladly. Romans 1:3-4 makes this clear that Jesus is both the son of David and the Son of God. "...concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of in by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord."

In the next passage, Jesus will impugn the characters of the scribes in the Sanhedrin, accusing them bluntly of oppressing and of their hypocrisy. Meaning, they mouth the words, "Yes, Lord. Yes, you're Yahweh. Yes, you're Adonai," but deep inside they had no love for the Lord, and therefore, they were hypocrites. Jesus shows us how much he hates hypocrisy. In point two: hate hypocrisy like Jesus. Psalm 97:10, "O you who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked." One of the greatest forms of evil is hypocrisy because hypocrisy is evil masquerading as good. It's lies masquerading as truth. It's wolves in sheep clothing. How odious is the sin of hypocrisy in the sight of Jesus, so he says in Verse 38, "Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts."

This is the irony of ironies that those who claim to love God the most, who claim to love the law of God the most, who view themselves as the guardian and defenders of the faith didn't know God. They didn't want the blessings of God as much as they wanted the trappings that came with religious service. They claimed to be zealots for God, but they devoted themselves entirely to presenting themselves as righteous, presenting themselves as holy. These men may strive to please God in some sense, but they love the perks of holiness. They love walking around in their flowing robes, receiving the greetings of the people, taking the seats of honor, talking as if they know the Lord when they don't.

Then Jesus exposes that they're actually using this front, this façade, this posturing as a means to evil gain. When Jesus says, "Beware of the scribes," he's not just saying, "Okay, beware of those religious people out there." He's saying, "Beware of the same hypocrisy in their heart, beware of that same hypocrisy in your own." Hypocrisy is so dangerous because it's lies that people begin to believe themselves. It's self-delusion. If you think you're right with God, if you think you're righteous, if you think you're a good person, you start to begin believing that, and you want to be around people who think you're righteous. This is exactly what these people were doing. In an honor-conscious, Greco-Roman society, these distinctions about the robes and the seats and the positions of honor and the greetings, there were important signs of status. What Jesus is saying that that's what was most important to them than the delight of God the Father.

Then Mark 12:40, "... who devour widows' houses and for pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation." They were devourers of the good of the poor saying they did so on the grounds of justice, but in reality they were destroying those on the fringes. Here Jesus rips off the scribes' mask of respectability to reveal the brutal, even demonic reality underneath. We see this in the words, "They love to be at feasts," where there was civilized dining, and then when no one's looking, they're devouring the houses of the widows. The same word for devour was used only one other time in Mark, in Mark 4:4 where Satan comes like the bird to eat the Word of God, the seed of the Word of God. These very pillars of society, men distinguished as such by dress and universal acclaim, they're revealed to be demonic abusers of the helpless, and then they use prayer as a means of veiling their assaults.

To add insult to injury, in the book of Deuteronomy, the Levites were included along with the widows, the orphan, and the resident aliens as people who require societal support. So the Levites, they didn't own land, and because they didn't have land ownership, they relied on the people and the gifts of the people for their sustenance. But instead of relating to the widow and the orphan and the resident alien, they betrayed a sacred trust. They violated it and defrauded them. This is particularly heinous in the eyes of the Lord because God loves the widow, and he loves the orphan, and he loves the resident alien.

The widow's house was often the sum total of her inheritance. That's all she had. What these scribes did was they would go to the widow and they'd say, "Well, have you paid your tithes to the temple? Oh, we see you have not." Then through their legalese, they would take the house away from the widow, and they would say, "We're giving it to the Lord." How does the Lord view this? He said they're going to receive great condemnation. They're going to receive God's justice. If you do not repent of your sin, justice will come down upon you for this law-breaking, for this heinous crime. The Old Testament often threatens with judgment those who oppress widows, orphans, and other helpless persons.

The Lord hates defrauding. He hates robbing. If you've ever been robbed, if you've ever been defrauded, you know that feeling of violation. I was actually surprised by this. A neighbor ran up to me a little while back. He said, "Have you seen my daughter's bicycle?" They had parked it in the back of the condominium association, and then someone came and just took the bicycle. This is a very established, even-keeled gentleman. I will never forget the look of disgust as if he was violated. It's just a bicycle. Well, people defraud all the time, that we live in an evil world. The Lord sees and the Lord will bring justice. We as believers, we are to be thankful to the Lord for that, that the Lord hates evil and he will judge it. The question we got to ask, is there evil in my life, in my heart that the Lord hates, that the Lord wants to condemn? If so, I need to repent.

That's how you battle hypocrisy. You battle hypocrisy by saying, "Lord, yes, I present myself as a follower of Christ, but when I get on my knees, I know my sin, I know my evil and you know it as well. Lord, forgive me. Lord give me grace and help me put this evil to death." These were people that used evil as... They used the excuse that good will come or we'll take the houses. We're going to build up the temple. Saint Paul writes in Romans 3:8, "Why not do evil that good may come? As some people slanderously charged us with saying, 'Their condemnation is just.'"

Isaiah 10 makes this practice of the scribes as they oppress the widows clear. Isaiah 10:1, "Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil and that they may make the fatherless their prey! What will you do on the day of punishment in the ruin that will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help and where will you leave your wealth? Nothing remains but to crouch among the prisoners or fall among the slain. For all this, his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still."

The oppressors are said to defraud their victims with evil writs or iniquitous decrees or documents, documents that would come from a scribe. They would seize the property because they said, "Look, according to our documents, you haven't paid the tithes, so we're taking it." Jesus Christ, he hates this hypocrisy, he hates this injustice, he hates this evil, and above all else, he hates the fact that these people presented themselves as righteous and they're using their pseudo-righteousness as a cover for evil.

The Lord reserved his strongest language, his strongest and heaviest denunciations against hypocrisy. Yes, it's bad enough to be led away and captive to open sin and to serve diverse lusts and pleasures, but it's even worse to pretend like you're having a living faith, but in reality, you serve the world. So we as believers, we have to be aware, "Beware," Jesus says, "of falling into this abominable sin, beware of ever putting on a cloak of hypocrisy." Let us be real, honest, thorough, and sincere in our following of Christ. We can trick people for a little while, but we will never trick God. God is not mocked. He's the discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart and his all-seeing eye pierces through the varnish, the tinsel which cover the unsound heart.

Having predicted judgment of the scribes who devour widows' houses, Jesus now turns his gaze to an impoverished widow. He's sitting there watching as she gives, and he commends her for her generosity. The two passages are meant to be taken together. They're an illustration of the age-old motif of the two ways. There's two ways. You can either pretend to be a follower of the Lord but deep down inside it's just corruption and sin, or the path is offered to be like this widow where she is serving the Lord. No one sees, she thinks. It's all hidden, and her poverty is matched by her generosity. So we are to be careful to, yes, believe the right things but also live our lives in a way that our lives adorn the doctrine of Christ.

This brings us to the third point: love sacrificial devotion like Jesus, Verse 41, "He sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums." It says he sat down, and the sitting could be significant, especially after Jesus just claimed to be the Lord sitting at the right hand of Yahweh, and he sits opposite the treasury. Most exegesis say this treasury is part of the Woman's Court that had 13 brass receptacles shaped like trumpets. You would come up to the brass receptacle that's shaped like a trumpet, and you'll put your coins in. There was no paper currency at the time. So when people threw the coins in, the more coins, the bigger the coins, the heavier the coins, the more noise they made.

When this poor widow brings her money, there's not much noise. Verse 42, "A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny." This is the least valuable of the Roman coins, the smallest coin in circulation. She's giving all she has, but it's not much. Jesus is there. He's watching and he's sitting. Verse 43, "He called his disciples to him and said to them, 'Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box.'" All those contributing, Jesus is using that phrase collectively, that this one widow gave more, according to Jesus, than everyone else combined.

Why? Because of Verse 44, "They all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on." All she had to live on, that phrase is even her whole living. The word bios is used. It literally means life. She's given all she has. She's given her life, everything she had for her life. The crucial thing we learned is not the quantity that gives, but the scarcity from which one gives, what's subsequently left over. It's more commendable to give out of poverty than out of abundance, according to the Lord.

I do want to point out that the Lord notices. The most sacrifices that we make for the Lord, no one sees, but the Lord does see, and the Lord does notice, and the Lord does keep track. The depth of the widow's sacrifice is emphasized by the repetition at the end. "She gives everything she has." When the rich young ruler came to Jesus Christ and said, "How can I obtain eternal life? How can I inherit eternal life?" Jesus says, "Go sell all that you have, all that you have." Here she gives all that she has.

One thing to point out is, on the one hand, Jesus excoriates the Sanhedrin and the temple and the institution in this corruption. On the other hand, he points to this precious soul within the institution that doesn't know about all of the corruption. She's giving out of her love for the Lord. We see this example all throughout the Scriptures. In the Book of Luke, we see Zechariah, Elizabeth, Simeon, Anna, all who go to the temple to pray as expressions of their piety. But then also in the Book of Acts, we see Stephen get up and preach a sermon in which he excoriates the temple and predicts its destruction by God.

So it is possible to recognize the corruption of an institution, the venality of its officers, at the same time to admire the piety of the simple souls who devote themselves to an innocent faith. Jesus' point is that what sinful men and women regard as piety like the scribes did, well, Jesus doesn't really care about that. The scribes had their robes and they had their seats and they had their greetings. They thought they gave a lot to the Lord. But the Lord is saying he cares more about the precious state of the heart of this woman. When the kingdom of God comes in power, God reverses everything sinful. Yet, religious people think about what God expects.

This week I celebrated my birthday. Someone asked me, "What'd you do?" I said, "I did my favorite thing. I did nothing." That's my favorite thing. I went for a walk. Then we had Raising Cane's with my girls in the evening. It was a very nice. Raising Cane's shout out with the secret sauce. Then my daughters gave me a little gifts, little note cards. My youngest daughter gives me this card that she drew. It's beautiful. "Dad, you're the best dad ever," thank you, thank you, and a big picture, beautiful, we're holding hands.

Then I open it up. There's a dollar bill inside. I was like, "No way!" I was like, "A dollar bill?" I'm looking at it, I was like, "It's a dollar bill. Baby, do you know inflation? Come on. It's not worth anything. You can't buy a thing." Maybe that's why she gave it to me. "Dad, I know inflation." No, she's in the first grade. She doesn't know about that. It's all she had. This is like her greatest treasure. "I'm six. What can I get my dad? I'm going to make him a card, and I'm going to give him my net worth. Here you go, a dollar." I'm never going to spend that dollar. I've got it on my mantle. I'm never going to spend it. It's so precious to me.

That's what the Lord is saying. God looks at the heart. God notices not how much, but from how much. God does not look at the size of the gift but the dimensions of the sacrifice behind it. God looks at the heart of the giver. The depth of the widow's sacrifice is emphasized by the repetition at the end. "She gives everything she has, even her whole living all of her life." The widow is a fitting conclusion to the Lord's public ministry and is called to discipleship. Jesus said, "This is what it means to follow me. You take up your cross, deny yourself daily, and follow me." Here she is, a true disciple because she's lost her life for his sake, as Jesus says all true disciples will do.

He, like her, will also give everything he has for the temple, but not the second temple, but the third temple. With his sacrifice on the cross, he's redeeming for himself a new people. Through those people, he creates a temple of the Spirit of God and a sanctuary not made by hands. This combination of self-sacrifice and eschatological construction will confound human ways of knowing. Jesus raises this contrast not to encourage us to give all that we have away, but rather to make the point that true piety, true faithfulness, true following of the Lord will often go unnoticed. True devotion will often go unnoticed because it's unassuming, because it's private.

True piety is not a matter of mere external conformity to the law. Rather, true piety results from that faith to trust God to provide no matter what because he is a good God. But as Jesus insists, true righteousness isn't a matter of just outward demonstration. It's all about the heart. Then ultimately, we don't... Even with this widow, even this widow needed a righteousness that is not her own. She needed someone to die for her sins, to ransom her from the condemnation that we deserve. That's exactly what Jesus will do on the cross.

So who is the Lord? Well, he is David's son, and he is also David's Lord. In other words, our Lord Jesus Christ here is saying that he is the Lord that demands that we love him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. In the previous text, the scribe says, "What's the greatest commandment?" and Jesus says, "Here O Israel, the Lord our God. The Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind." In our text, Jesus says, "I'm the Lord. Yahweh says to me, 'Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.'"

So what Jesus here is saying is that he is the ultimate object of worship. The fact that Jesus of Nazareth was and is Almighty God is the single fact that unlocks the secret of your existence and the secret of the existence of every human being. It is the single reason why we as Christians have every right, not just right, every duty, obligation, we have every right and duty to say that every human being must become a Christian, every human being must become a follower of Christ. It's for this reason that Jesus, the first century man, has no rivals. He has no successors. His life is unique and it is final.

If you make the crucial discovery that Jesus is God, you can't avoid the conclusion that all of the other religions are not true. That Islam, which regards Jesus just as a prophet, but not even the ultimate prophet, that Islam and, for that matter, Judaism or Buddhism or any other human religion or philosophy is wrong at the very key point. They may be right about many things, but they're wrong about the most essential point. It is the fact that Jesus Christ is God that makes the Christian faith true and all the other religions and philosophies false at the bottom.

In this text, we have two mysteries for the price of one. We have the plurality of the persons within the unity of the Godhead. We have the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and we have the union of the Godhead and the manhood in the person of Jesus. He is the son of David; therefore, he is fully man. He is the Son of God; therefore, he is God himself. But mysterious as all this may be, the logic is clear and the logic is irresistible. If Jesus is God and died for the sins of the elect and obviously that and only that is the way of salvation, Jesus is the only way that we can be reconciled with God.

For someone who has embraced Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the fact that he is both God and man makes him unquestionably deserving of our absolute and unquestioning loyalty. There's only two ways. Either you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind in this age, either you love Jesus Christ; or you are his enemy and you will be placed under his feet for all eternity. If you're not sure, today we urge you, we plead with you, turn to Jesus Christ in your heart of hearts in prayer and say, "Lord Jesus, forgive me for my sins. You are Lord. I am not. I have sinned. And Lord Jesus, forgive me. Give me grace and make me a person that is fully devoted to you no matter the sacrifice."

1 Corinthians 12:3, "Therefore, I want you to understand that no one's speaking in the spirit of God ever says 'Jesus is accursed!' and no one can say, 'Jesus is Lord" except in the Holy Spirit." Then the concluding words of 1 Corinthians 16:22, "If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen."

Let us pray. Heavenly Father, we thank you for this text and we thank you that you are a God who loves us; therefore, you hate sin. On the cross, Lord, we see both your love for us in that you sent your Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for our sin. We also see your hatred of sin as you pour out your wrath on your Son as he bore our sins, the penalty for our sins. Lord Jesus, we pray that you continue to make us the people that love you, love your word, love the truth, and hate lies. Make us the people who long to be sincere in our walk with you. Make us the people who hate hypocrisy, beginning with the hypocrisy that's so close to our hearts. The Holy Spirit, continue to build us up as your church, the church of Jesus Christ. Continue to draw the elect and continue to use us powerfully as a witness here in the city. We pray this in Christ's name. Amen.

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Heavenly Father, we thank you that you, the God of love, the living and loving God, sent your son Jesus Christ to live the life that we were supposed to live, he did it in our stead, and to die the death that we deserve to die for our law breaking. Jesus, we thank you that through your resurrection on that third day, on that first Sunday, the first resurrection day, you triumph over Satan's sin and death. The greatest enemies, our greatest enemies were placed as a foothold under your feet. Lord Jesus, we thank you that you are the life and the resurrection. You promise that whoever believes in you, though he die, will pass into eternal life. We thank you for the promise of the resurrection, that in the resurrection we will rise with glorified bodies, transformed bodies. We pray, Lord, that you continue to establish us by the power of the Holy Spirit in your will in obedience of faith.

We thank you for the Holy Scriptures, Lord, and as we meditate on how Christ read the Scriptures, how he revered the Scriptures, how he submitted to them, I pray that you make us some people who love the holy Word of God and make us some people that long to be truly devout, sincere in our faith, knowing that your opinion of us is the one that matters most. Lord, make us the people that hate hypocrisy, hate hypocrisy within ourselves, that distance between what we show to the world and what we are inside and make us the people of integrity, integrated within loving you with all of our heart, with all of our strength, with all of our mind and strength. Lord bless our time, the Holy Word. We pray this in Christ's name, amen.

We're continuing our sermon series through the Gospel of Mark called the Gospel of Mark and the Secret of God's Kingdom, Kingdom Come. The title of sermon today is Love God and Hate Lies. You've seen the yard sign, "Hate has no home here." Well, then God has no home there because God hates, and that sign hates God. God hates because God is love. Because he is love, there are things that he hates. In Proverbs 6:16-19 it says, "There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are in abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers."

Our God is a God of perfect holiness; therefore, he must hate evil to remain in perfect holiness. And our God is a God of infinite love; therefore, he must hate that which destroys the object of his love lest he isn't loving. To love is to hate. To love God is to hate Satan. To love good is to hate evil. Proverbs 8:13 says, "The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance in the way of evil and perverted speech I hate." Or Romans 12:9, "Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good." So to love truth, we must hate lies.

Psalm 119:163 says, "I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law." To love God's word is to hate any perversion of it, any adulteration of it, and to love the Gospel is to hate any false gospel. Galatians 1:8-9, "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed." Strong words.

A false gospel dishonors the person and the work of Christ, and Christ is the supreme object of God's love, the supreme display of his infinite goodness, and the one who accomplishes God's ultimate purpose to display his glory. In false gospels, they lead people away from Christ and the gospel by which they may be saved and enjoy forgiveness of sin, new life, and eternal happiness with God. God's love for people leads him to a place where he does hate that which leads them astray, which destroys them. And that's sin. God hates sin. In addition to its ugliness and opposition to the beauty of his holiness, sin ruins people. Therefore, loving God who loves people, he hates that which ruins them. True love hates that which hurts the object of God's love. To love sincerity is to hate hypocrisy. That's what we see in our text today, that Jesus hates hypocrisy. To conform to the image of Jesus Christ is to love what he loves and hate what he hates. Jesus loves God's Word; therefore, we are to love God's Word. Jesus loves the bride, the church; therefore, we are to love the church as Jesus did.

Today we're in Mark 12:35-44. Would you look at the text with me? "And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, 'How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?' David himself and the Holy Spirit declared, 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand until I your enemies under your feet. David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?"' And the great throng heard him gladly. And in his teaching he said, 'Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.'

And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins which make a penny. He called his disciples to him and said to them, 'Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.'" This is the reading of God's holy and errant and fallible authoritative word. May he write these eternal truths upon our hearts.

Three points to frame up our time. First, love the Scriptures like Jesus; second, hate hypocrisy like Jesus; and third, love sacrificial devotion like Jesus. First, love the Scriptures like Jesus. Having vanquished his opponents in a series of verbal duels against the synagogue, the Sanhedrin, the scribes of the Sanhedrin, we see this in Chapter 11, Chapter 12, he silenced the crowd. He silenced the religious establishment, the religious leaders. We know that through entering Jerusalem to the adulation of the crowds who cried out "Hosanna!" Then by entering the temple courtyard and driving out the merchants and the money changers, Jesus is throwing down the gauntlet. "Sanhedrin religious leaders, what are you going to do with the one who claims that he is the son of David, with the one who claims that the Messiah is here?"

Through his actions, Jesus is messing with the support and the cash flow of the Sanhedrin. So they confront him publicly, and privately they plot to kill him. Jesus overturns their tables, and now he turns the tables against them. After a day of them questioning him, now he questions them with the question of the day. And the question is, "Is Jesus Lord? If Jesus is Lord, Sanhedrin, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to submit to Christ as Lord?" This is Verse 35, "As Jesus taught in the temple, he said, 'How can the scribes say that the Christ is the Son of God?'" In the Greek where it says, "He taught in the temple," it says, "He answered," meaning, he's answering their silence. He has silenced them. They should have then humbled themselves and said, "Lord, we humble ourselves underneath your authority and the teaching of Scripture," But that's not what they do. So he now answers their proud silence by asking them a question.

Jesus had already entered Jerusalem in triumph. He has been hailed as the vanguard of David's restored dominion. This is the Messiah. He's here. The people have accepted him. Now Jesus is asking, "How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?" He used the word Christ, which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word for messiah, the one who is anointed to be king. Jesus had accepted the Messianic praises. He is the son of David. But by asking this question and by starting this conversation, what Jesus is getting at is, is the messiah only the son of David? Because if the messiah is only the son of David, then the messiah is only king of Israel. That's what they thought. That's what Israel thought that the messiah is going to be. Because David was the greatest king Israel ever had, the messiah is David's son; therefore, the messiah is going to be a king just like David, a king of only Israel.

This is where they wrongly assumed that God was the God of only Israel, that God was the God of only their people, only their nation. So Jesus here is expanding the definition of the messiah by asking, "How can the messiah be only David's son?" What the people could not see is that while Jesus came as Israel's Messiah, he didn't come to save Israel from Rome. He didn't come to save them from the occupying forces. He didn't come to restore Israel to their former glory. He came to save them. He came to save them from their sins, but not just them, also people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. Their expectations were not too high for the Messiah. They were too low. The scribes of Jesus' day interpreted the messianic prophecies to mean that Israel's messiah would be a biological descendant of David and a great king to return Israel to its greatness.

This makes all the more surprising what happens next. Jesus goes on the offensive, not against pagans, but against Jewish scribes who teach that the messiah is simply the son of David. So Jesus in Verse 36 says, "David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared, 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet."'" Here King Jesus quotes Psalm 1:10, which was authored by David, but Jesus doesn't say, "David himself declared." He says, "David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared." Here Jesus is revealing how he viewed Scripture, how he viewed the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament, as we call it, that the Holy Spirit is the one that penned the Scriptures through David, through the authors.

Here we see the Holy Trinity. The Spirit is writing through King David, and then it says the Lord, that first Lord in the Hebrew is Yahweh, that's God the Father, and the second Lord is Adonai, which is Lord, which is Jesus Christ. So God the Father says to God the Son, "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." We have the Holy Trinity right there in that text.

But how does this inform your understanding of Holy Scripture? Do you view Holy Scripture as Jesus did that it was written by the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. 2 Peter 1:16 says, "For we do not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father and the voice was born to him by the Majestic Glory, 'This is my beloved son with whom I'm well pleased,' we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns in the morning, star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."

I find J.C. Ryle's comments here extremely relevant. He says the following, "Let us learn in the first place from these verses how much there is about Christ in the Old Testament Scriptures. Our Lord desires to expose the ignorance of the Jewish teachers about the true nature of the Messiah." He does it by referring to a passage in the Book of Psalms and showing that the scribes did not rightly understand it. In so doing, he shows us that one subject about which David was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write was Christ. We know from our Lord's own words in another place that the Old Testament Scriptures testify of Christ, John 5:39, "They were intended to teach men about Christ by types and figures and prophecy until he himself should appear on Earth."

We should always keep this in mind in reading the Old Testament, but never so much as in reading the Psalms. Christ is undoubtedly to be found in every part of the law in the prophets, but nowhere is he so much to be found as in the Book of Psalms. His experience and sufferings as first coming into the world, his future glory and his final triumph as second coming are the chief subjects of many a passage in that wonderful part of God's word. It is a true saying that we should look for Christ quite as much as David in reading the Psalms.

Let us beware of undervaluing or despising the Old Testament. In its place and proportion, the Old Testament is just as valuable as the New. There are probably many rich passages in that part of the Bible which have never yet been fully explored. There are deep things about Jesus in it, which many walk over like hidden gold mines and know not the treasures beneath their feet. Let us reverence all the Bible. All is given by inspiration and all is profitable. One part throws light upon another, and no part can ever be neglected without loss and damage to our souls. A boastful contempt for the Old Testament Scriptures has often proved the first step towards infidelity.

So as Jesus quotes Psalm 110, one thing to note is that the New Testament quotes Psalm 110 more than any other text from the Old Testament. 33 times it quotes Psalm 110. I'll read the whole passage of Psalm 110:1, "The Lord says to my Lord, 'Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.' The Lord sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies! Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours. The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, 'You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.' The Lord is at your right hand; he shall shatter kings on the day of his wrath. He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he shall shatter chiefs over the wide earth. He will drink from the brook by the way; and therefore he will lift up his head." So the same Lord that is referred to in Verse 1 is also referred to in Verse 4. There we read, "The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind. You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek."

So we see here that not only is the Lord on the throne, not only is the Lord the King, but he's also the priest. He's not a priest according to the order of Levi. He's a priest according to the order of Melchizedek. So whoever this Messiah is, yes, he's the son of David, but he's so much greater. His dignity is so much more profound because he is eternal. He's an eternal priest, an eternal king. "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." The messiah was thought to be a biological ancestor of David. Yet, David here is saying, "No, the Messiah is greater than I am, much more exalted than I am." Possesses a far greater dignity than David's own. In fact, David calls the Messiah, "My Lord," and Jesus' question is here, "How is the son of David called Lord by David?"

That's the question of Verse 37. "David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son? And the great throng heard him gladly." The logic seems to be that no father calls a child or calls a son Lord. Therefore, if David calls the Messiah Lord, is it appropriate to call the Messiah just the son of David? How can the Messiah fulfill these prophecies about an eternal Messiah if he is simply David's son? This is what Jesus here is questioning. He's not denying his physical descent from King David. No. Jesus is from the tribe of Judah. He is the Lion of Judah.

What he's saying is, "I need to expand your definition of the messiah." He's not just the son of David. He's not just the messiah for Israel. He's also the Son of God. That's why David calls his son Lord. By asking this provocative question, Jesus is letting the people know he's the Lord. He's the Lord that David referred to. Yes, he's the son of David. He's also the Son of God. If he is David's Lord, then his messianic mission cannot be limited simply to restoring the nation of Israel to its former greatness.

Jesus' kingdom is not of this world; therefore, his kingdom is for the whole world. Jesus isn't just king of the Jews. He's not just king of Israel. He's not just king of Christians. He is king over everything. The question is, are we going to submit to him here and now and say, "Lord Jesus, I'm yours. I want to serve you. I love you. What would you have me do?" or do we wait until all of the enemies of Jesus Christ will be placed under his feet, including those who reject the gospel in this life?

The irony is that David's Lord and descendant is standing in the very same temple which was designed to point Israel to Jesus Christ, and they don't recognize him. Although the people were amazed at his words, they definitely didn't fully understand what Jesus is saying. If they had, in a few days they would not have cried out, "Crucify him!" They heard him greatly. They received him gladly. Romans 1:3-4 makes this clear that Jesus is both the son of David and the Son of God. "...concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of in by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord."

In the next passage, Jesus will impugn the characters of the scribes in the Sanhedrin, accusing them bluntly of oppressing and of their hypocrisy. Meaning, they mouth the words, "Yes, Lord. Yes, you're Yahweh. Yes, you're Adonai," but deep inside they had no love for the Lord, and therefore, they were hypocrites. Jesus shows us how much he hates hypocrisy. In point two: hate hypocrisy like Jesus. Psalm 97:10, "O you who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked." One of the greatest forms of evil is hypocrisy because hypocrisy is evil masquerading as good. It's lies masquerading as truth. It's wolves in sheep clothing. How odious is the sin of hypocrisy in the sight of Jesus, so he says in Verse 38, "Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts."

This is the irony of ironies that those who claim to love God the most, who claim to love the law of God the most, who view themselves as the guardian and defenders of the faith didn't know God. They didn't want the blessings of God as much as they wanted the trappings that came with religious service. They claimed to be zealots for God, but they devoted themselves entirely to presenting themselves as righteous, presenting themselves as holy. These men may strive to please God in some sense, but they love the perks of holiness. They love walking around in their flowing robes, receiving the greetings of the people, taking the seats of honor, talking as if they know the Lord when they don't.

Then Jesus exposes that they're actually using this front, this façade, this posturing as a means to evil gain. When Jesus says, "Beware of the scribes," he's not just saying, "Okay, beware of those religious people out there." He's saying, "Beware of the same hypocrisy in their heart, beware of that same hypocrisy in your own." Hypocrisy is so dangerous because it's lies that people begin to believe themselves. It's self-delusion. If you think you're right with God, if you think you're righteous, if you think you're a good person, you start to begin believing that, and you want to be around people who think you're righteous. This is exactly what these people were doing. In an honor-conscious, Greco-Roman society, these distinctions about the robes and the seats and the positions of honor and the greetings, there were important signs of status. What Jesus is saying that that's what was most important to them than the delight of God the Father.

Then Mark 12:40, "... who devour widows' houses and for pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation." They were devourers of the good of the poor saying they did so on the grounds of justice, but in reality they were destroying those on the fringes. Here Jesus rips off the scribes' mask of respectability to reveal the brutal, even demonic reality underneath. We see this in the words, "They love to be at feasts," where there was civilized dining, and then when no one's looking, they're devouring the houses of the widows. The same word for devour was used only one other time in Mark, in Mark 4:4 where Satan comes like the bird to eat the Word of God, the seed of the Word of God. These very pillars of society, men distinguished as such by dress and universal acclaim, they're revealed to be demonic abusers of the helpless, and then they use prayer as a means of veiling their assaults.

To add insult to injury, in the book of Deuteronomy, the Levites were included along with the widows, the orphan, and the resident aliens as people who require societal support. So the Levites, they didn't own land, and because they didn't have land ownership, they relied on the people and the gifts of the people for their sustenance. But instead of relating to the widow and the orphan and the resident alien, they betrayed a sacred trust. They violated it and defrauded them. This is particularly heinous in the eyes of the Lord because God loves the widow, and he loves the orphan, and he loves the resident alien.

The widow's house was often the sum total of her inheritance. That's all she had. What these scribes did was they would go to the widow and they'd say, "Well, have you paid your tithes to the temple? Oh, we see you have not." Then through their legalese, they would take the house away from the widow, and they would say, "We're giving it to the Lord." How does the Lord view this? He said they're going to receive great condemnation. They're going to receive God's justice. If you do not repent of your sin, justice will come down upon you for this law-breaking, for this heinous crime. The Old Testament often threatens with judgment those who oppress widows, orphans, and other helpless persons.

The Lord hates defrauding. He hates robbing. If you've ever been robbed, if you've ever been defrauded, you know that feeling of violation. I was actually surprised by this. A neighbor ran up to me a little while back. He said, "Have you seen my daughter's bicycle?" They had parked it in the back of the condominium association, and then someone came and just took the bicycle. This is a very established, even-keeled gentleman. I will never forget the look of disgust as if he was violated. It's just a bicycle. Well, people defraud all the time, that we live in an evil world. The Lord sees and the Lord will bring justice. We as believers, we are to be thankful to the Lord for that, that the Lord hates evil and he will judge it. The question we got to ask, is there evil in my life, in my heart that the Lord hates, that the Lord wants to condemn? If so, I need to repent.

That's how you battle hypocrisy. You battle hypocrisy by saying, "Lord, yes, I present myself as a follower of Christ, but when I get on my knees, I know my sin, I know my evil and you know it as well. Lord, forgive me. Lord give me grace and help me put this evil to death." These were people that used evil as... They used the excuse that good will come or we'll take the houses. We're going to build up the temple. Saint Paul writes in Romans 3:8, "Why not do evil that good may come? As some people slanderously charged us with saying, 'Their condemnation is just.'"

Isaiah 10 makes this practice of the scribes as they oppress the widows clear. Isaiah 10:1, "Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil and that they may make the fatherless their prey! What will you do on the day of punishment in the ruin that will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help and where will you leave your wealth? Nothing remains but to crouch among the prisoners or fall among the slain. For all this, his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still."

The oppressors are said to defraud their victims with evil writs or iniquitous decrees or documents, documents that would come from a scribe. They would seize the property because they said, "Look, according to our documents, you haven't paid the tithes, so we're taking it." Jesus Christ, he hates this hypocrisy, he hates this injustice, he hates this evil, and above all else, he hates the fact that these people presented themselves as righteous and they're using their pseudo-righteousness as a cover for evil.

The Lord reserved his strongest language, his strongest and heaviest denunciations against hypocrisy. Yes, it's bad enough to be led away and captive to open sin and to serve diverse lusts and pleasures, but it's even worse to pretend like you're having a living faith, but in reality, you serve the world. So we as believers, we have to be aware, "Beware," Jesus says, "of falling into this abominable sin, beware of ever putting on a cloak of hypocrisy." Let us be real, honest, thorough, and sincere in our following of Christ. We can trick people for a little while, but we will never trick God. God is not mocked. He's the discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart and his all-seeing eye pierces through the varnish, the tinsel which cover the unsound heart.

Having predicted judgment of the scribes who devour widows' houses, Jesus now turns his gaze to an impoverished widow. He's sitting there watching as she gives, and he commends her for her generosity. The two passages are meant to be taken together. They're an illustration of the age-old motif of the two ways. There's two ways. You can either pretend to be a follower of the Lord but deep down inside it's just corruption and sin, or the path is offered to be like this widow where she is serving the Lord. No one sees, she thinks. It's all hidden, and her poverty is matched by her generosity. So we are to be careful to, yes, believe the right things but also live our lives in a way that our lives adorn the doctrine of Christ.

This brings us to the third point: love sacrificial devotion like Jesus, Verse 41, "He sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums." It says he sat down, and the sitting could be significant, especially after Jesus just claimed to be the Lord sitting at the right hand of Yahweh, and he sits opposite the treasury. Most exegesis say this treasury is part of the Woman's Court that had 13 brass receptacles shaped like trumpets. You would come up to the brass receptacle that's shaped like a trumpet, and you'll put your coins in. There was no paper currency at the time. So when people threw the coins in, the more coins, the bigger the coins, the heavier the coins, the more noise they made.

When this poor widow brings her money, there's not much noise. Verse 42, "A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny." This is the least valuable of the Roman coins, the smallest coin in circulation. She's giving all she has, but it's not much. Jesus is there. He's watching and he's sitting. Verse 43, "He called his disciples to him and said to them, 'Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box.'" All those contributing, Jesus is using that phrase collectively, that this one widow gave more, according to Jesus, than everyone else combined.

Why? Because of Verse 44, "They all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on." All she had to live on, that phrase is even her whole living. The word bios is used. It literally means life. She's given all she has. She's given her life, everything she had for her life. The crucial thing we learned is not the quantity that gives, but the scarcity from which one gives, what's subsequently left over. It's more commendable to give out of poverty than out of abundance, according to the Lord.

I do want to point out that the Lord notices. The most sacrifices that we make for the Lord, no one sees, but the Lord does see, and the Lord does notice, and the Lord does keep track. The depth of the widow's sacrifice is emphasized by the repetition at the end. "She gives everything she has." When the rich young ruler came to Jesus Christ and said, "How can I obtain eternal life? How can I inherit eternal life?" Jesus says, "Go sell all that you have, all that you have." Here she gives all that she has.

One thing to point out is, on the one hand, Jesus excoriates the Sanhedrin and the temple and the institution in this corruption. On the other hand, he points to this precious soul within the institution that doesn't know about all of the corruption. She's giving out of her love for the Lord. We see this example all throughout the Scriptures. In the Book of Luke, we see Zechariah, Elizabeth, Simeon, Anna, all who go to the temple to pray as expressions of their piety. But then also in the Book of Acts, we see Stephen get up and preach a sermon in which he excoriates the temple and predicts its destruction by God.

So it is possible to recognize the corruption of an institution, the venality of its officers, at the same time to admire the piety of the simple souls who devote themselves to an innocent faith. Jesus' point is that what sinful men and women regard as piety like the scribes did, well, Jesus doesn't really care about that. The scribes had their robes and they had their seats and they had their greetings. They thought they gave a lot to the Lord. But the Lord is saying he cares more about the precious state of the heart of this woman. When the kingdom of God comes in power, God reverses everything sinful. Yet, religious people think about what God expects.

This week I celebrated my birthday. Someone asked me, "What'd you do?" I said, "I did my favorite thing. I did nothing." That's my favorite thing. I went for a walk. Then we had Raising Cane's with my girls in the evening. It was a very nice. Raising Cane's shout out with the secret sauce. Then my daughters gave me a little gifts, little note cards. My youngest daughter gives me this card that she drew. It's beautiful. "Dad, you're the best dad ever," thank you, thank you, and a big picture, beautiful, we're holding hands.

Then I open it up. There's a dollar bill inside. I was like, "No way!" I was like, "A dollar bill?" I'm looking at it, I was like, "It's a dollar bill. Baby, do you know inflation? Come on. It's not worth anything. You can't buy a thing." Maybe that's why she gave it to me. "Dad, I know inflation." No, she's in the first grade. She doesn't know about that. It's all she had. This is like her greatest treasure. "I'm six. What can I get my dad? I'm going to make him a card, and I'm going to give him my net worth. Here you go, a dollar." I'm never going to spend that dollar. I've got it on my mantle. I'm never going to spend it. It's so precious to me.

That's what the Lord is saying. God looks at the heart. God notices not how much, but from how much. God does not look at the size of the gift but the dimensions of the sacrifice behind it. God looks at the heart of the giver. The depth of the widow's sacrifice is emphasized by the repetition at the end. "She gives everything she has, even her whole living all of her life." The widow is a fitting conclusion to the Lord's public ministry and is called to discipleship. Jesus said, "This is what it means to follow me. You take up your cross, deny yourself daily, and follow me." Here she is, a true disciple because she's lost her life for his sake, as Jesus says all true disciples will do.

He, like her, will also give everything he has for the temple, but not the second temple, but the third temple. With his sacrifice on the cross, he's redeeming for himself a new people. Through those people, he creates a temple of the Spirit of God and a sanctuary not made by hands. This combination of self-sacrifice and eschatological construction will confound human ways of knowing. Jesus raises this contrast not to encourage us to give all that we have away, but rather to make the point that true piety, true faithfulness, true following of the Lord will often go unnoticed. True devotion will often go unnoticed because it's unassuming, because it's private.

True piety is not a matter of mere external conformity to the law. Rather, true piety results from that faith to trust God to provide no matter what because he is a good God. But as Jesus insists, true righteousness isn't a matter of just outward demonstration. It's all about the heart. Then ultimately, we don't... Even with this widow, even this widow needed a righteousness that is not her own. She needed someone to die for her sins, to ransom her from the condemnation that we deserve. That's exactly what Jesus will do on the cross.

So who is the Lord? Well, he is David's son, and he is also David's Lord. In other words, our Lord Jesus Christ here is saying that he is the Lord that demands that we love him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. In the previous text, the scribe says, "What's the greatest commandment?" and Jesus says, "Here O Israel, the Lord our God. The Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind." In our text, Jesus says, "I'm the Lord. Yahweh says to me, 'Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.'"

So what Jesus here is saying is that he is the ultimate object of worship. The fact that Jesus of Nazareth was and is Almighty God is the single fact that unlocks the secret of your existence and the secret of the existence of every human being. It is the single reason why we as Christians have every right, not just right, every duty, obligation, we have every right and duty to say that every human being must become a Christian, every human being must become a follower of Christ. It's for this reason that Jesus, the first century man, has no rivals. He has no successors. His life is unique and it is final.

If you make the crucial discovery that Jesus is God, you can't avoid the conclusion that all of the other religions are not true. That Islam, which regards Jesus just as a prophet, but not even the ultimate prophet, that Islam and, for that matter, Judaism or Buddhism or any other human religion or philosophy is wrong at the very key point. They may be right about many things, but they're wrong about the most essential point. It is the fact that Jesus Christ is God that makes the Christian faith true and all the other religions and philosophies false at the bottom.

In this text, we have two mysteries for the price of one. We have the plurality of the persons within the unity of the Godhead. We have the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and we have the union of the Godhead and the manhood in the person of Jesus. He is the son of David; therefore, he is fully man. He is the Son of God; therefore, he is God himself. But mysterious as all this may be, the logic is clear and the logic is irresistible. If Jesus is God and died for the sins of the elect and obviously that and only that is the way of salvation, Jesus is the only way that we can be reconciled with God.

For someone who has embraced Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the fact that he is both God and man makes him unquestionably deserving of our absolute and unquestioning loyalty. There's only two ways. Either you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind in this age, either you love Jesus Christ; or you are his enemy and you will be placed under his feet for all eternity. If you're not sure, today we urge you, we plead with you, turn to Jesus Christ in your heart of hearts in prayer and say, "Lord Jesus, forgive me for my sins. You are Lord. I am not. I have sinned. And Lord Jesus, forgive me. Give me grace and make me a person that is fully devoted to you no matter the sacrifice."

1 Corinthians 12:3, "Therefore, I want you to understand that no one's speaking in the spirit of God ever says 'Jesus is accursed!' and no one can say, 'Jesus is Lord" except in the Holy Spirit." Then the concluding words of 1 Corinthians 16:22, "If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen."

Let us pray. Heavenly Father, we thank you for this text and we thank you that you are a God who loves us; therefore, you hate sin. On the cross, Lord, we see both your love for us in that you sent your Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for our sin. We also see your hatred of sin as you pour out your wrath on your Son as he bore our sins, the penalty for our sins. Lord Jesus, we pray that you continue to make us the people that love you, love your word, love the truth, and hate lies. Make us the people who long to be sincere in our walk with you. Make us the people who hate hypocrisy, beginning with the hypocrisy that's so close to our hearts. The Holy Spirit, continue to build us up as your church, the church of Jesus Christ. Continue to draw the elect and continue to use us powerfully as a witness here in the city. We pray this in Christ's name. Amen.

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