19 February 2018

Luke 21
Psalm 13

All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.

Luke 21:4

Jesus was a keen observer of human nature. On this particular day in the temple, he watched those who came in to bring their offerings. Much like in Luke 18 with the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, Jesus here compares two kinds of people coming to worship through giving.

The first is the rich. In the Mark 12 account of this event, it says that many rich people “threw in” large amounts. The word “threw” implies it was given haphazardly, carelessly, almost as if it didn’t matter. The choice of verb suggests that had they given sacrificially, they would have taken more care in how they deposited their gifts.

But here the poor widow comes forward and puts in two very small copper coins. The fact that Jesus notices the details of the size and worth of her offering demonstrates that she probably took great care in giving her gift. It was worth a lot to her because it was sacrificially given. Jesus, knowing all things, tells his disciples that she gave out of her poverty. Her offering was not “thrown” into the temple treasury. Her gift was humbly given, not to “earn” her salvation or somehow gain favour with God, but because she loved the Lord. Otherwise Jesus would not have made an example of her.

What is our attitude towards the offering we give towards God’s work? Do we “throw” our money into the offering bag carelessly, as the rich people did? Do we even remember what we give because our offering is submitted via EFT? Are we still giving the same amount monthly as we did three years ago because we haven’t thought about giving more sacrificially?

To Jesus, it was never about the amount of money given, but rather about the heart of the giver. What would Jesus say about our giving? Oh that we would be praised as the widow was!