Mark's Gospel narrative is not merely informational in nature; it is meant to move an audience to respond. Mark expected his readers/listeners, that is, the community of believers, to respond to his Gospel—to hear and be affected by the stories and teachings and events that shape his narrative. This is equally true regarding the Mark 12 scene under discussion, the poor widow vs. the duplicitous scribes. The “greater condemnation” (12:40) of the temple establishment and the end of the temple (i.e., its destruction, 13:2) should not be dismissed as mere historical information or relevant only to the Israel of old. Mark crafts his narrative in such a way that pulls his readers/listeners into the story so they would hear that their end can have a similar outcome if they are likewise unprepared, for they, too, do not know when the master of the house is coming (Mark 13:35).
The warning to beware of duplicitous scribes is soon followed by Jesus’ disciples pointing out the “wonderful stones” and “wonderful buildings” of the temple (13:1). It is to this which Jesus replies, “Not one stone will be left upon another” (13:2). This is ironic and disappointing. The disciples didn’t get it; they had missed the point. They have not been listening—a dangerous place to be, for this is the OT charge against Israel’s unprepared leadership. Yet all readers/listeners are to guard against their own unpreparedness at the (re)appearance of the Master of the house.
 Mark uses krima here, which means judgment and is most likely drawn from the Malachi reference (Mal 3:5).
 The drawing in of the readers/listeners can also be seen in the “hardening” texts directed at the disciples (Mark 6:51–52; 8:14–21).
*From “Widows in Our Courts (Mark 12:38–44): The Public Advocacy Role of Local Congregations as Discipleship,” chapter one of Wasted Evangelism.
Chip M. Anderson, advocate for biblical social action; pastor of an urban church plant in the Hill neighborhood of New Haven, CT; husband, father, author, former Greek & NT professor; and, 19 years involved with social action.