Summary: Have you ever been totally dependant upon God? The lesson of the widow is that "importunity equals opportunity". Learn what it is that really impresses God!


Mark 12: 41-44

It is a mild Sabbath morning in the Palestinian City of Jerusalem. The sun has not

yet risen to full strength, and yet people are already lined up all the way down the dusty

road which leads to the Holy Temple. Smoke is in the air because of the animals that

have already been sacrificed and burned on the altar. And in that slow moving line,

there are rich and poor alike, carrying with them the offerings that are to be presented

for the Lord God Jehovah.

The line leads to a small square room lined with metal collection boxes. the boxes

have metal horns extending out of them, to receive the offerings of the people. As you

can imagine, the coins make a constant clanging noise as they are cast into the


Most of the people shuffling along, quickly make their donation, and move on. But one

person, who has already given His offering, stands over in the corner with His disciples.

And notice that it DOES NOT SAY that Jesus is watching WHAT everyone is giving but

rather “HOW the people put money into the treasury.”

Of course, also in the room, supervising the money boxes, are several priests. As the

wealthy citizens pass by and make loud clanging noises by virtue of their many coins,

they seem to draw favored glances. Many seem quite impressed at the generosity of

those who cast an abundance of big, heavy coins into the boxes.

And it is not surprise that no one pays particular attention to one frail, little lady

who enters the room. Only one person sees her, and that is the One who sees all. But

she nonetheless stops at the collection terminal. She then reaches into a tiny sachet

and carefully draws out 2 rather insignificant coins -- mites, the smallest currency used

by the Romans. She tosses both of these lightweight coins into the big metal box, but

their faint click is drowned out by the heavy clanking of more substantial coins made by

the wealthy patrons. So, no one notices her. After all, what difference would her two

tiny tokens make?

But Jesus is impressed. He is so impressed that he singles this woman out to the

entire multitude and cheerfully confesses that her offerings are more important that

those made by men of wealth and prestige. And he recognizes her seemingly uneventful

giving by telling the disciples and by having this episode permanently recorded both in

the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Luke, insuring HER a place in history!

After reading about this event, we might wonder, “Why was Jesus so impressed with

the widow who gave her two mites?” What was it that caused him to stop and single her

out of the crowd? Why did he honour her minute gift so proudly and publicly? I want

to explore with you, 3 reasons why I believe Jesus was impressed with her giving.



A How did Jesus know about this poor woman’s state?

1. One might argue that Jesus was able to deduce some things based upon the

lady’s appearance.

a. She was likely dressed like a poor person> frayed robes & worn out sandals.

b. She was alone, and perhaps looked lonely, which would provide a good guess

that she was a widow.

2. But HOW did Jesus know that the 2 mites she gave were all that she had?

B I’ll tell you how Jesus know such intimate details about this woman. Jesus was not

just any other man! He was (and is) God in the flesh!

1. It was no big deal for Jesus to have supernatural knowledge about this woman.

He has done this before. I.e. John 4, the Samaritan woman from Sychar

2. And NOT ONLY did Jesus know this woman’s circumstances, He KNEW HER

HEART! (I believe he could feel her love for God emanating out of her heart)



1. That’s a sobering thought, isn’t it? Jesus not only knows about our external

acts, but he knows what is going on in our hearts!

2. That is why He ignored the pompous, glory seeking hypocrites but noticed the

poor widow lady.

3. I want to assure you TODAY that if you are struggling, as this woman was, that

Jesus knows and understands your plight!

a. Are you suffering emotionally today?

b. Are you burdened with worries and concerns?

c. Are you going through a financial, physical, emotional or spiritual crisis?

“Jesus knows all about our struggles. He will work till the day is done.

There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus. No not one! No not one!”

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Pastor Dennis Chapman

commented on Nov 2, 2006

Short but very good message. Hits the mark. I'm doing studies on money and this message gives us a wonderful look at how our Lord see's our giving.

Frank Gunnels

commented on Oct 27, 2011

Jesus was NOT commending the widow. Jesus WAS condemning the Religious leaders. The CONTEXT is a " greater judgement". Jesus was showing an example of " devouring widow''s houses" spoken of in previous verses. The greater judgement was the TOTAL destruction of Judaism because they had brainwashed widows into contributing to the upkeep of the temple. The destitute widows were to be supported BY the Temple not REQUIRED to support the Temple. This is why Jesus told them that not ONE stone would be left standing in the temple.This account is not teaching us to give sacrificially . We could only do it ONCE and it would violate other bible principles.Note Jesus never said do likewise etc. He is NOT lifting her up. He is tearing them down !!!!!

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