Scripture: Mark 12: 41 (Jesus) sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44 For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
Observation: Jesus notes how offerings are perceived by God differently than by people. People tend to be impressed with the amount of money given. By this measure, the wealthy gave far more than the widow. However, God is more impressed with the level of sacrifice involved in the offering than the amount of the offering itself. The point of the offering is to place oneself in dependence on God. It’s a sign of faith in God as provider (“Give us today our daily bread”). The widow embraced this dimension of giving far more than the wealthy.
Application: It would seem the gospel writer Mark intended this story to provoke questions in the reader. Are you more like the wealthy people who give from their excess – while retaining fundamental control you their own financial well-being? Or are you more like the widow who gives to the degree she is completely dependent on God for her provision?
Prayer: Lord, give us grace to trust you with our money, for you can be trusted. And as we see your faithfulness in the area of our provision, lead us to trust you in other areas of life. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.