Walking In Truth Devotional Update
The Widow’s Two Mites
(Mk 12:41-44; Lk 21:1-4)
I believe there are two ways of looking and this beautiful story. One has to do with the full context. Look at Mark 12:38-40 in order to see our story in context.
“Jesus also taught: “Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. 39 And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. 40 Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be more severely punished.”
41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. 43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”
Jesus has just been warning His disciples about how the religious teachers had been shamelessly cheating widows out of their property and then pretending to be pious by making long prayers in public. This poor widow had not been instructed by God to give everything she had into the treasury. In fact, she should have been looked after by God’s shepherds, the religious leaders (read this scathing rebuke of the failure of God’s shepherds to look after His people: Ezek. 34:2-6; 11-16). Today there may be Christians who really don’t have enough to take care of their needs and they should not be made to feel that they should give if they are unable to do so. Giving is measured according to what one has. Paul wrote, “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not” (2 Cor. 8:12).
The other way to look at this touching story is to make the point regarding sacrifice. She put in more than all others who contributed to the treasury because she gave all she had while the others merely gave out of their abundance. Jesus saw in her a heart that trusted in God’s providence for her needs and a heart that expressed its worship and appreciation to God in her giving.
God certainly does care what we give to His work of the kingdom. “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come” (I Cor. 16:1-2). Also consider what Paul said in 2 Cor. 9:6-8: “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
By Guy Roberson