The Widow’s Example
Reading: Luke 21:1-4
And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.” [NASB1995®]
The contrast is evident; after warning His disciples about those who use faith in God as a means to take advantage of others and watching the rich boast of their considerable offerings in the Temple, Jesus has us look at a humble widow.
The rich made their offerings evident, so that people could see and admire them. That would be their reward, momentary and vain to the end. They were not making an offering to God, they were making an offering to be noticed by others.
How much did she give? Two coins, of little value, almost nothing in reality. The person who saw her offering would consider it insignificant. And more if he compared it with the sums offered by others.
But Jesus makes us look at it, and sets it as an example for us. Why?
Because the widow’s offering is given with sacrifice and effort. It is an offering that is born of love. It is an offering addressed to God.
The widow does not offer to be seen; she does not offer her leftovers, but gives what she has in love.
That little offering becomes enormous because the motivation of it is to honor God and not to seek the honor of people.
The Lord sees that, and is pleased to see this gesture full of love.
Does the Creator of all need our money? Can we impress him in any way? Is he not the owner of everything?
The Lord is not pleased by the amount that we give or do, but in seeing that even the little that we give and do is filled with love for Him.
The children of God know that everything is from the Lord, and that is why, from how much we receive, we give. Generosity is a hallmark of believers. That is not what is under discussion here. But the fact that we know that God looks at nothing more than our heart, our motivations.
Because we love Him, we are happy to please Him, as we can.
MEDITATE: In everything that we do and in everything that we give, are we motivated by a desire to honor and glorify God?
Scripture quotation taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Translation by: Emily Stader