Faith, Lessons from Jesus

A Lesson in Giving

Mark 12: 41,42 – And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.

We know that Jesus traveled throughout Galilee, Samaria and Judea proclaiming the gospel but we also know that he spent a lot of time in the temple, as Luke 21:37 says, every day he was teaching in the temple. On one such day, while (probably) sitting on the steps between the temple courtyard and the court of the women, he noticed a widow bringing her offering to God. Feeling the weight of what she had given, he called his disciples over for a lesson in giving.

“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.”

The widow gave two copper coins, 2 lepton, the smallest unit of money available (imagine our old ½p). So, this is not a lesson in tithing, for how do you tithe a penny? This is about giving – giving everything you have. This lady gave out of her poverty, or as the KJV says, ‘but she of her want did cast in all’. She was among those that we would class as being in need and people in a similar position would be found at the gate of the temple begging for alms. So, what was it about her that caused her to give up what she needed most?

I believe that this woman, in coming to the temple and handing over all that she had, was demonstrating her faith in Jehovah Jireh. She may even have heard Rabbi Jesus say, “do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all”, which may have strengthened her faith even more. Just like the parable of the man who found the treasure, sold all that he had and bought the field, I believe this widow had found something so valuable that everything else paled in comparison.

I’m sure you have realised that this lesson goes way beyond money; it is a lesson in giving all of yourself to God. Your family, your home, your work, your relationships, your decisions – give everything over to His keeping and you will never be poorer for it. In fact, you will be richer is ways your never thought possible.

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