Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
Some things are just worth talking about.
After every football play, players on the field get together to talk about what happens next. Before every stroke in golf, the caddie and player talk about where the ball lies, how far they want to hit it, what to avoid, where the wind is blowing from and how hard. In volleyball, both teams gather before every serve.
Can you imagine that in other sports? The pitcher, catcher, and the infield gather at the mound to talk about the next pitch. Both basketball teams get together and talk after each basket or turnover. Both soccer teams meet every time the ball changes sides.
And there are times in life when we just have to get together to talk. Talk about what we just saw. What we just heard. What we just experienced.
This is such a time with Jesus and his closest followers. They’re in a public place, watching all sorts of people putting in their offerings at the temple. Lots of people are there, and the rich put in lots of money with lots of fanfare. The crowd was too busy watching the rich put in lots and lots of cash. They were dressed in their best clothes. Making a big show. Being congratulated on their generosity.
And then, a poor widow puts in two small coins. Something that most people overlooked. But it wasn’t overlooked by Jesus. This was so significant that Jesus gathers his disciples around to tell them something. In that crowded temple area, with all this commotion and activity, there was a moment that Jesus wanted to memorialize to his disciples, and for us.
Like a quarterback on the field, with the crowd going wild all around, Jesus gets their attention and focus. Over and against all the distractions, Jesus points out something significant. Something significant to him. To them. To us.
Yes, it’s true that this poor widow only put in two small copper coins, but by comparison, she outgave them all. The rich gave from what they could afford to give. Their gift would not change or impact their lifestyle in the least. In essence, they gave out from their pocket change. What they wouldn’t miss. When they walked away, they weren’t worried where their next meal was coming from
On the other hand, the poor widow gave all she had. She emptied out her bank accounts and gave everything. When she walked away, she had nothing. She didn’t have a credit card that she could charge todays meal to.
They both gave out: the rich out from their riches, the poor widow gave out of her poverty. Jesus saw both and pointed this out to his disciples, and us. God is less impressed with what we give to him. There is no heavenly spreadsheet where records are kept on what we give to God. There is something more important here.
God isn’t impressed with what we give, but very observant with how much we keep for ourselves. How much do we hold back for ourselves says a lot about what we think. What we truly believe. How would you answer these faith questions.
· Is God truly watching over me, seeing me, how much I have?
· Is God truly concerned about me?
· Is God truly able to meet my daily needs, or must I hold back?
This poor widow’s faith was complete. She could answer “yes” to all three of these faith questions. She knew that God saw, was concerned, and was going to supply. If she didn’t, then why would she give everything she had? Why would she abandon all her resources unless God was with her?
The answer is that she had complete confidence in her God. There was nothing he couldn’t do. There was no stone unturned when it came to his love, compassion, and provision for her.
I don’t know about you, but just reading these words humbles me. It shows me how weak and shallow my faith is. If God was deeply personal to us, intensely intimate with us, then there would be no hesitancy to give, to share in word, action, and resource.
There would also be no fear. The God of this poor widow was not just in charge, on his high heavenly throne. No, he was right there with her. And he’s right here with us.
So, how are we going to respond to God? Where is he? And is he able to walk with us today? Able to provide for us today?
How we live is living proof of what we think. What we believe.