Summary: It’s not the size of your gift that matters, but the size of your heart. Believe every cent counts in the Kingdom of God. Learn to be totally dependent upon God.
Why would Jesus be so impressed with a widow who gave only two mites, which is less than a cent? He was so impressed that He called His disciples together and singled her out of the crowd. Why did He honour her minute gift so proudly and publicly?
The woman is nameless. We have no record of any word she uttered. As far as we know Jesus did not speak to her. Most likely, she never knew what Jesus said concerning her. She simply walked in, carefully placed her two mites into the horn shaped vessel and passed on by out the courtyard of the Temple, and most likely without saying a word to anyone. She went her way in acute poverty and loneliness, and in real danger of starvation.
Only one person sees her – Jesus, the One who is able to see all. No one notices her. After all, what difference would her two tiny coins make? Jesus saw something in her that no one else sees. It wasn’t something outward, it was something within.
Jesus was so impressed that He couldn’t let this opportunity pass. He has to call His disciples and tell them (v.43). The disciples need to know and we need to learn today too.
Many are impressed by the rich – the generosity of those who come with big bags of money. If we were there, I think we would too. They were probably dressed for the occasion, so that they would be noticed. Everyone loves the rich.
This poor widow walked up and offer two rather insignificant coins (Greek: lepta) – the smallest coin used in those times (probably 1/5 of a cent). Jesus was not moved because she gave. It was HOW she gave.
On God’s scales, the woman’s gift outweighed the rest. Jesus said, "…this poor widow has put MORE into the treasury than all the others." (v.43)
In order words, she has given more than the rich, even though she dropped in only two coins. To God, it is not the size of the gift that matters, it is your heart. Jesus explains, “They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything-all she had to live on.” (v.44)
She gave sacrificially, and she gave it willingly.
It is not how much you can give. It doesn’t matter if you can only offer a little – maybe a little time, a little talent, or a small token. God doesn’t judge the gift by its size, but its sincerity and generosity of heart.
Anyway, what difference can two small coins made to the treasury of the Temple. In fact, the widow need not have to come to the Temple in the first place. She is too poor even to give the tithe. How do you tithe off two-cents?
Yet she came. Why? She has the heart to give. She wants to contribute to the work of God. She believes in God’s work. And she came offering ALL she had, literally. Jesus saw her heart. Today God is looking at your heart, not the size of your gift.
No one would be bothered about her offering, but she is. She wanted very much to offer it to God. She has little, but she wasn’t ashamed of her gift. In the midst of those carrying big bags of coins, it may be embarrassing for her to be there. Yet she wasn’t bothered.
No one knows she had in fact given up everything. It was a great sacrifice but she did not brag about it.
No gift is too small a gift to God. We have to learn from her – to give from our heart, and believe that every small gift matters to God and every small gift can make a difference in the Kingdom of God.
Never mind if that is only two smallest coins. Put it in the hands of God and we’ll be surprised what God can do. This widow believed that, if not she wouldn’t have bothered to make the trip to the Temple only to put in two coins. Do we? Do we believe that the little gift I offered, the little talent, the little skills, the small offering, does make a difference to God?
What is important is the sincerity and generosity of our heart. It is the attitude we bring when we come before Him.
The woman not only believed that, she gave in faith. It takes great faith to give all that you have. She has a great need, yet she was not in fear that she would not be able to survive. To be worried is understandable, given her situation. She has nothing left stepping out of the Temple. Yet amazingly she did not. Her offering is an act of faith.