Jesus Watches What You Give
Posted: Saturday, April 22
Verse of the day:
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” (Luke 21:3-4 NLT)
For most, giving is a very private matter. Whether we give a lot, a little or nothing at all we like that information to be completely confidential. Can you imagine sitting in your row at church, filling out your offering envelope and someone decides to lean over so they can see exactly what you’re going to give? That would be quite awkward!
In this passage Jesus is teaching in the temple courts and he shamelessly positions himself near the treasury to see who gives what! He notices wealthy people bringing their gifts followed by a poor widow who puts in 2 small coins. The King James Version translates the word for “coins” as “mites,” a term derived from the French, miete, signifying a crumb or a tiny morsel. These coins represented the smallest and least valuable currency in Israel.
Jesus not only watched who gave what, but he does what he is uniquely qualified to do: he looks at the heart. Some gave much yet because of their abundance it was not a sacrifice. Their giving would not require any dependence upon God because of their surplus and their lifestyle would continue as normal. But the widow gave all she had. Only a heart that completely trusts God can give everything.
God watches what rich people give and God watches what poor people give. Everyone’s contribution is expected and appreciated when given from the heart. This goes against a growing belief in our culture today that says only the rich should contribute and the poor need not give anything towards essentials like healthcare and education. God’s kingdom doesn’t operate in this manner.