Summary: Many people give, but it really doesn’t show their committment to God. Today, we are going to look at a widow who didn’t give much by society’s standards, but she gave it all.
When I was growing up, I participated in several organizations that held fundraisers.
The High School band held the biggest fundraisers twice a year to support our band trips (Disney World, Boston, Canada, etc…).
Because I didn’t have the money to go on the trips, it was important for me to sell as many hoagies as possible to fund my trips.
So twice a year, I would walk all over my neighborhood, knocking on doors and asking people to purchase some hoagies to support me and the band.
By far, I was at the top when it came to selling hoagies.
The neighborhood that I grew up in was lower-to-middle class and had many senior citizens on fixed incomes.
Despite their monetary situation, they were very generous every time I asked them to help support me.
Later on I learned that some of my friends who lived in more wealth or well to do areas struggled to sell hoagies b/c the people in those communities didn’t want to buy anything.
Today, Jesus is sitting in the temple watching the people coming in and out of the temple
It’s Tuesday, the week that Jesus rode into Jerusalem triumphantly and later on would be brutally killed on the cross.
This is the week of the Passover and pilgrims from all over the country have come to Jerusalem to celebrate this event.
The Passover is a religious festival commemorating God’s deliverance of the Jews from bondage.
It stems from the last plague or the 10th plague that God cast over Egypt when the Pharaoh wouldn’t let the Hebrew people go.
Whoever didn’t have lambs blood wiped on the doorpost of their homes lost their first born son.
When Jesus first entered Jerusalem, He went into the temple and literally “cleaned house” by turn tables of money over and kicking entrepreneurs out of the temple.
The religious leaders were furious, but they couldn’t do anything about it at that time.
From the court of the Gentiles where He conducted His public teaching, Jesus entered the court of the women.
Against the wall of this court were 13 trumpet-shaped collection receptacles for receiving worshipers’ freewill offerings and contributions.
From a vantage point opposite one of these receptacles Jesus was observing how the Passover crowd was putting their money into the temple treasury.
In contrast with many wealthy people who gave large amounts (lit., “many coins” of all kinds—gold, silver, copper, and bronze), one unnamed poor widow gave two lepta.
A lepton was the smallest bronze Jewish coin in circulation in Palestine. Two lepta were worth 1/64 of a Roman denarius, a day’s wage for a laborer
For his Roman readers Mark stated their value in terms of Roman coinage, namely, a fraction of a penny.
While Jesus watched this woman put some money in the charity receptacle, He called His disciples over and spoke to them
“I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
The others gave out of their material wealth at little cost to them, but the widow out of her poverty gave everything.
Proportionally, this widow had given the most—all she had to live on.
In giving to God sacrificially she completely entrusted herself to Him to provide her needs.
She could have kept back one coin for herself.
But she didn’t!
Jesus used her example to teach His disciples the value God places on wholehearted commitment.
In the near future, the disciples’ own commitment to Jesus would soon be severely tested.
This passage could speak to us in several ways.
We could talk about money and how important it is to give.
We could talk about charity and helping others
We could talk about Jesus continuing to teach His disciples
But this morning, Jesus looked right through the flesh of this woman and He looked at her heart.
She was committed to God
The money she put in the plate was evident of that.
No it wasn’t $100 or $1000 like some of the others put it, but it was all that she had
Which represented more than the other people
How committed are you to God?
Does your offering show it?
Does your actions show it?
Does your heart show it?
How committed are you to God?
No matter where we are, Jesus is standing their observing us.