And he called his disciples to him and said to them, "Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on."
Jesus was off in the distance, watching the people put in money in the offering box at the temple. Jesus observed how everyone was giving money. Then came this poor widow. Widows went through difficult times in those days. Financially they had very little to go on. This widow was no different. Does she even have money to give? The widow put in two copper coins. Her offering had very little monetary value, but it was all that she had. Other people gave more money, but they had so much more to keep for themselves. This woman, this poor widow, gave all that she had. Seeing this, Jesus called his disciples to observe, telling them how much more value her offering had than the rest.
When it is time for us to give to the Church, whether it be the offering plate that is passed down the pew, or a special collection, we look into our wallet and see what we can spare. We might start doing calculations in our head, figuring in lunch after church, gas for that day, the movie plans you had that night, etc., and then figure what you can afford to give now. Usually it’s a dollar. May be five.
What we see in this passage is that the amount doesn’t really matter. Jesus values the sacrifice made in the offering. You’re giving up your nice lunch for the Lord? Value. You’re giving up your recreational plans for the day? Value. You’re giving up all that you had in your wallet? Value.
Jesus came to this sinful world and didn’t give what he could spare, but gave his entire life so that we may be saved. That is the Gospel. The Gospel is the very reason why we should be giving sacrificially. We give because Christ gave first. We give as a response to the Gospel. That is sacrificial giving that has value.
Prayer: Lord, you gave yourself as a sacrifice so that I might be saved. Let that love and grace which you demonstrated on the Cross teach my heart to give sacrificially to you in all things.. Amen.
Thought for the Day: We should give to Jesus our first and most valued; not our leftovers.
Rev. Alex Kolath, MTC, Baltimore