Luke 21:1-4closeLuke 21:1-4 The Widow's Offering 21:1 Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” (ESV) closeLuke 21:1-4closeLuke 21:1-4 The Widow's Offering 21:1 Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” (ESV) The Widow's Offering 21:1 Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” (ESV) ; Mark 12:41-44closeMark 12:41-44 The Widow's Offering 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.” (ESV) closeMark 12:41-44closeMark 12:41-44 The Widow's Offering 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.” (ESV) The Widow's Offering 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.” (ESV)

After informing the disciples about the religious leaders and their erroneous ideas about serving God, Jesus commented on those who were giving offerings. Jesus noticed two groups of people who were giving: the rich and one poor widow. Jesus’ words in this text have been seared into my mind over the last few weeks. There is just something about this text that I cannot escape.

Prior to this passage Jesus had commented on the Scribes and their love for honor and the applause of men. Jesus even said that they “devour widows’ houses.” It seems that there is a connection in what Jesus was saying about the religious leaders and his words about a widow’s offering. Jesus is again displaying his distaste for the prevailing religious attitude of the day.

The rich were apparently doing what was right in that they were giving in tithes and offerings. According to Jesus their gifts were large. Again, Jesus is not impressed. If we think about Jesus as he is presented to us in the New Testament, we will understand this is no surprise. The “showy” and “flashy” works of the religious crowd rarely moves Jesus. Rather, those who show desperation, need, and simple faith are the individuals who get Jesus’ attention.

This is what we see with the widow. She put in all that she had left from her miniscule budget. Jesus was moved by her sacrifice. This speaks to me and I am concerned. I have concern for myself as well as modern Christian culture as a whole. We live in an age where it is easy to broadcast our “flashy” faith. With social media and the continual evolution of technology, it has become all too easy to have the attitude of the Scribes and the rich who were giving from their abundance of money. It is easy to pronounce your love for God when others are watching or when it costs nothing.

Jesus responds to those who care nothing for publicity but out of pure heart give all to Him. The widow was demonstrating true religion, or the kind that does not need an audience. I pray that believers and churches alike will take time and examine their motives and their level of sacrifice. Jesus has not called us to put on a performance but to devote our whole life to Him in spite of what it may demand of us. This means that we should give of our money, time, love, kindness, and spiritual gifts when it is not convenient. Even when Jesus might be the only one watching.

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