Mark 12: 41 – 44 The widow’s offering
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 pence.
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.’
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The widow gave two very small copper coins. They weren’t valueless, like a cent or a penny today; you could definitely buy something with them; but you couldn’t buy very much. The best ‘guesstimate’ I’ve seen of their value is that they could have bought the woman a cheap meal. As Jesus said, she put in all she had to live on. She would go to bed hungry that night.
A part of me says, ‘Surely God didn’t want her to make herself destitute?’ Jesus is perfectly clear, though. He thinks her example is so important that he calls his disciples together to emphasise its importance.
This is part of Jesus’ teaching about money, and it should certainly prompt me to assess my own giving to God. I can see only too clearly that I am giving out of my wealth. I’m not sure that’s its primary message for me today.
The thing that made the widow’s gift particularly valuable was that she put God first. Who would you go hungry for? Your children? Your spouse? Your best friend? The widow gave so generously to God because she loved him. She had a relationship with him. She put him first because she knew him.
As I meditate and pray today, that is where I must start; by earnestly seeking to let the love of God grow in my life. I need to learn how to experience his presence so that I want to put him first in every part of my life.
Thank you that the death and resurrection of Jesus have given me the opportunity to have a loving relationship with you. Please help me to be open to your love, and to be ready to do your will.
In Jesus’ name, Amen