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.”
This passage always challenges me and reveals something new to me each time I read it. Today it takes me back to the story in Luke chapter 9 in which Jesus sends the 12 disciples out in pairs to minister in surrounding towns and villages to “proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal”. Yet as he sends them he tells them they can take nothing with them – no extra clothes, food, money, nothing. They had to be completely dependent on God the Father as part of their ministry.
As they took nothing, God provided everything.
I believe the widow in this story knows this truth. She’s described as a “poor widow” who would typically have been dependent on her children, family, or friends for support. That was the custom. But when she drops everything she has (which isn’t much) into the offering plate we understand the truth. She’s not depending on other people, but on God alone for her support. Not only that, in her complete dependence on God she would have activated something powerful in the Kingdom of God. Maybe she was a healer. Maybe she cast out demons. Maybe she proclaimed God’s Kingdom, we don’t know. But the fact she CHOSE to depend on God means all of these things were possible.
Like many of you, I’ve been watching as our world is in turmoil: war in Ukraine, stock markets in free-fall, inflation making everything more expensive. It’s in times like this my dependence on things of this world is exposed. I place too much trust in things that are temporary rather than eternal. So this morning I’m asking the Lord to give me grace to lean more fully into dependence on God, who is ultimately the only One we can depend upon. Lord let it be so. Amen.