Humilitas

All three gospel writers include Jesus’ debate with the scribal leaders. The scribes and Jesus shared an appreciation for God’s Word but had two very different opinions on the ethics of obeying God. The scribes distorted God’s law to the point that they regularly took advantage of the weak to the benefit of the socially strong. As society’s legal experts, the scribes served as academics that could out reason nearly anyone for their own sake. While God’s word teaches we are to care for widows and orphans, scribal legal experts had begun to take advantage of these people. The family was responsible for the care of widows. When there was no family, it became the priests’ job to care for them. All of this was to maintain the widow’s dignity. Scribes regularly took advantage of widows by manipulating their understanding of scripture leading her to give up her resources and follow their teaching leaving her financially destitute. This scandalous attitude and behavior sets the stage for Jesus’ very scathing and public rebuke of the scribes.