Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
Written by: Larry Van Laar
If you’ve been around church for very long you have likely heard these verses preached many times and there has always been a giving/tithing message associated with them. And for good reason. This scripture gives us such a great picture of the heart of God when it comes to generosity.
I always think in terms of stories, so this is how I interpret these verses.
Jesus and His buddies are looking for a place to eat their lunch and find a grassy area across from the temple. Understand that the temple was one of the greatest architectural and engineering marvels of the known world at the time and the sheer opulence of gold, marble, and bronze—plus the craftsmanship—would have been overwhelming. Jesus and His buddies are eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in its shadow.
As Jesus looks over at all the well-off pouring into the offering from their wealth, He pauses time and says to His buddies, “hey, Peter, John, come over here and look at this.” As they come closer to Jesus, this widow comes into their view. She is dressed like a vagrant and definitely stands out in this crowd. She reaches out and drops all that she has into the offering—two pennies. Nobody else saw what just happened. But Jesus did. He took the time to point out the generosity of a single human. He was so moved that it became part of that day’s teaching. Now, two thousand years later we are all still trying to live up to a widow who had nothing but gave everything.
Thought of the day: Generosity was not invented by our culture or by man. Generosity was birthed in the heart of God. It is a part of who He is, and He has written on our hearts as well. In today’s culture we are taught to spend all we have. If you want to be more like Jesus, I challenge you to start being generous. This doesn’t apply only to giving to churches and non-profit organizations—instead, adopt it as a lifestyle. Give great tips, lone things out, and give your time and talents. Start small and work your way up.
Jesus is not calling us to be irresponsible and give everything we own away. We are called to be good stewards, but we must create margin in order to serve others. How can you start today?
Prayer: Lord, show me daily where I can be generous. Help me gain income so I can give it away. And help me be more accountable for what You have blessed me with and what I currently manage.