Mark 12:41 And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.43 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. 44 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.”
Giving is often a topic that holds a lot of angst for people. The scripture says it is more blessed to give then to receive (Acts 20:34) and here we see this moment where Jesus sees the giver. This past Sunday, I finished out a series called “I’M IN” with a message called “I’m Invested.” This message was about being invested in God’s church. When we are invested we are willing to give. We give time, energy, goods, and even money to support what we are invested in. Here in these scriptures we see that Jesus sees the giver but more importantly Jesus sees the heart of the giver. The scripture says, God loves a “cheerful giver!” (2 Corinthians 9:7)
But here we see two other kind of givers.
- The rich putting in large sums out of their abundance.
- The poor widow putting in 2 coins giving all she had.
He saw the rich giving much but he called attention to the widow who gave more than all those who contributed. Even though she gave a very tiny amount. She gave abundantly and generously. No one would have faulted her for keeping back one coin but no, she gave all. Jesus draws the attention to the fact that she gave more than all of them. Her’s was a gift of sacrifice. She had no more and they did have ‘much more’ even though they gave large sums.
The value of a gift is the cost that it was to the giver. God doesn’t need your money. God wants your heart. Our hearts are often wrapped up in valuing money above people and giving breaks that values stronghold. Look what the the scripture says about valuing or loving money. 1 Tim 6:9-10 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
Jesus gave this woman a “well done.” Who then can say otherwise? Therefore, to give is good.
And the thing that is most interesting is that just before this little widow comes and gives of all she has Jesus made this statement in Mark 12: “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces 39 and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 40 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” These scribes took advantage of widows. Maybe even taking what they had so that they themselves could be the best dressed. They craved having people recognize them. They desired to have the best seat in the house and longed to being honored. This is not necessarily the best place to be. This positioning in society breeds pride, can have you taking advantage of others, and busying yourself trying to make what you are doing “look” good to others. But the heart is not with God.