What was Jesus saying when he said, "They devour widows' houses"?


Mark 12:40

ESV - 40 Who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.

Clarify Share Report Asked April 29 2018 Received 167270910322119 Gregory Jones

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
in speaking of the scribes "devouring widows' houses", Jesus was condemning the greedy, predatory way in which the scribes and other members of the Jewish religious establishment would not hesitate to mercilessly drive people into poverty (while enriching themselves) through their demands for offerings or payments in the name of religion (even if those payments would include the seizure of a widow's estate, leaving her with no means of support or no place to live). 

Despite this deliberate cruelty, the scribes would then put on a visible appearance of being very religious by saying lengthy prayers in public,and otherwise displaying their supposed piety in places where other people would see them do so (and praise them for it), while also enjoying all the tangible benefits that came with their status as members of the religious hierarchy (such as the seats of honor at religious feasts, or in the synagogue during worship). Jesus said that their punishment in eternity would be all the greater because of their hypocrisy.

April 30 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining