And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.”
Understanding And Applying the Text
Jesus is in the Temple and is watching the people. He sees the wealthy give their gifts. The temple needed the wealth’s gifts to operate. So they were not unimportant. In the court of the women, there were thirteen trumpet-shaped collection boxes. Each box had an inscription. The inscription showed how the donations were used. Jesus saw a poor widow put two small copper coins into one of these boxes. The word used for “poor” means “very poor.” The widow’s total livelihood was two copper coins. And they were the lowest-value coins.
Jesus’ comment appears strange, even nonsensical from a financial viewpoint. But from another viewpoint, it makes total sense. Jesus did not say the wealthy’s gifts were unimportant. He did not say they gave nothing. what He said was the widow’s gift was greater. God determined the size of the gift by its cost. The gifts by the wealthy cost them nothing. The widow’s gift cost her everything. The widow gave all she had. Her priority was the Kingdom of God. Those who were wealthy had prioritized themselves first then God.
Does God have you or does your stuff have you? Or are you holding on to the things you need? Do you believe it is only prudent to spend time and money protecting what is yours? What do you need to live? Are you living for God or your stuff?
Is your attitude, after working all day, you deserve a time of relaxation? And all your stuff helps you to relax. There is a justification for it all. Your game boy and flat-screen TV, computer, smartphone, home, 2 cars, etc. . After you have paid all your bills you give God what’s left over.
The more stuff we have the more our stuff has us. We insure it. We paint it. We spend our time protecting and improving it. But if Christ asks for it will you be willing and able to give it? He has asked for it. All you have belongs to Him. Are you willing to give it to Him?
What would it look like if Christ were first in your life rather than yourself? There is no second place for God. He is either first place or no place.