Out of Her Poverty
By Scarlett Stough
To prepare for this study, please read
the Women in Christ commentary A Poor
Part I. The Example of a Poor Widow
1. Luke 21:1-4; Mark 12:41-44 What lesson do you think Jesus was teaching his disciples by the example of the poor widow’s offering?
2. Luke 20:45-47; Mark 12:38-40 What warning did Jesus give his disciples in this passage? What do you think Jesus wanted his disciples to learn and apply from this warning? Do you see a relationship between the warning against the practice of unscrupulous religious leaders and the poverty of the widow? If so, what is it?
3. After reading the context of Mark chapter 12 and Luke chapters 20 and 21, have you changed your answer to Question One? How does your answer compare to your first impression or what you had been taught the lesson meant?
4. What irony do you see in the contrast
between the practices of the religious teachers Jesus condemned and the
Part II. Leave What Remains
1. James 1:27; Proverbs 3:27-28 What religion does God find acceptable?
2. Matthew 25:31-46 Compare this passage with Luke 20:45-47. Why will these religious leaders be “punished severely?”
3. Deuteronomy 24:19-22; Leviticus 19:9-10; 23:22; Ruth 2:1-3, 17-18 What provision did the law of God make for the poor in Israel? What principle do you think could be applied in an industrial society to aid the poor?
4. Zechariah 7:8-14 Compare this passage to Matthew 25:31-46. Did God’s standard of judgment change after Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection? Explain your answer. What relationship do you see between the mercy of God and his anger?
5. Acts 6:1; I Timothy 5:3-16 What practice did the early Christian church have towards widows?
6. I Corinthians 16:1-4; Romans 15:25-27; II Corinthians 8:12; Ruth 2:18 What was the purpose of the collection of money from the churches in Galatia and Corinth? On what basis does a person decide how much to give?
7. I Timothy 3:3, 8; I Peter 5:2-3 What attitude should religious leaders have about money?
8. I Corinthians 9:3-18; I Timothy 5:17-18 What principles apply to a paid ministry? What ethics ought to be applied to earning a living in preaching the gospel?
9. Matthew 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-18; Luke
19:45-46 In what way do some of today’s churches and religious leaders
turn a “house of prayer” into a “den of robbers?” What are some practical
and ethical ways to do our part to “cast out the moneychangers” and hold
people accountable for donated funds?
OPTIONAL DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. How do you determine to whom or to which charities to give your donations? What qualifications do you look for in making your decision?
2. How do you determine how much to give? What role does faith have in deciding what to give?
3. If you solicit donations, what moral principles should guide the way you gain and use those donations?
4. What effect does begging for money have on the credibility of the message of the gospel?
5. How does an individual, or a church
or a charitable organization actively trust God to supply their needs?
Are there appropriate and non-manipulative ways to request donations for