Generous or Devoured?

As he taught, he said, ‘Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes … They devour widows’ houses …’ He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury … A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny … ‘she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.’ fragments of Mark 12:38-44

Is Jesus praising the widow, as we always seem to read this passage? Or, in the light of his condemnation of the scribes just before and the prophecy of the destruction of the Temple just after, could he be condemning the system which had the poor giving to support the luxury of the rich? Is the widow an example to us, or a victim of the corruption Jesus had just described?

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