On Motive & Justification

Then He said to them in His teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, 39the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, 40who devour widow’s houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”

41Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42The one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans.43So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”

Mark 12:38-44 NKJV


for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.– Jesus puts it plainly the reason why they make their prayers long. This reminds me so much of the Rosary. It is unnecessarily long due to the repetition. God is not impressed with this besides the fact that it is not directed to Him. Jesus gave a prescription of not doing vain repetitions (Matthew 6:7). There is a clear distinction of praying constantly for something until God answers and repeating sentences over and over.

for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood – This is a comparison that for the rich, they gave because they had plenty to spare. However, the widow who had nothing shows that her full trust is in the Lord, not riches which she obviously didn’t have.

Justification

Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 12for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. 13And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. 14But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? 15We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”

Galatians 2:11-16 NKJV

It is inevitable that even those who are church leaders make mistakes. This is why making fallible Christians the standard as to why someone decides to become a Christian is a grave mistake. First of all, it is to be understood that becoming a Christian is a decision that is tied to an individual’s commitment to his/her Savior and Creator, not somebody else’s walk with Christ. We all know that no one in this world is without sin except Jesus Christ and as the rest of the passage states, no amount of sacrificial atonement for our sins by means of doing good deeds can ever reconcile us to God, except for faith in Jesus Christ. A works-based system can never equal what Jesus Christ has completed at the Cross in Calvary. Doing good deeds out of wrong motives (to earn one’s way to heaven after God’s Word already reveals the only way to heaven–John 14:6) may as well amount to doing nothing.

I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

Galatians 2:21 NKJV

Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

John 8:36 NKJV

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