Mark 12:38-40

Jesus’ comments in this passage are pretty direct.  Pretense and power-grabbing do not demonstrate love of God and love of neighbor. 

He just declared what was most important.  Now He’s pointing out the living, breathing examples of disobedience to these commandments.

Every moment of these last few days He is teaching, shaping, and guiding.  He does not want the unschooled, ordinary men with whom He has spent the last three years to think that their leadership in the Church should resemble that of the scribes and teachers of the law.  The temptation will be great.  He wants them to be singularly focused on what is most important.

Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God?  Or am I trying to please men?  If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.  (Galatians 1:10)

Lord, show me where I am seeking the approval of others.  I cannot serve you wholeheartedly, if I am held captive to fleeting human praise.  Help me to live the same life in both public and private.  Make your praise be the sweetest sound to my ears.  My salvation and my honor come from you alone (Psalm 62:7).