Luke 21:1 – 4 (NIV) As He looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “I tell you the truth,” He said, “this poor widow put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
How quick we are to judge others – by their houses, their clothing, their cars and their other possessions. Our culture has evolved so that we now look intently on what we see OF others, and not necessarily on what we see IN others.
Jesus and the disciples were in the outermost court of the temple. Thousands of people in Jerusalem for the coming Passover celebration were milling about: rich and poor, young and old, visitors and locals, men, women and children. There was much to see, much to hear and much to experience; colours, conversations and commotion. For some, it was what we would call “sensory overload” (much like the malls will be on Saturday). But in the hustle and bustle, Jesus again was able to focus on the “most important”
As was the custom, people were placing their offerings in the boxes provided. The rich men probably arrived together, conversing loudly and drawing attention to themselves by their flashy clothes (obviously well-made), their boisterous dialogues and their ‘sense of presence’. I can well imagine them casually glancing around them as they reached the Treasury boxes to see who was watching them as they made their donations – lots of shiny, heavy, noisy coins – and adding the coins so that their dropping into the box was with maximum effect. (much like the photo-ops of today – garnering attention).
In the meantime, a poor widow woman silently entered the courtyard. Quietly she moved to another of the boxes, and silently she slipped her two meager coins into it. Then just as gracefully, she moved on – back to her duties for the day.
Jesus saw both donations, and brought them to the attention of his disciples. Although the grand donation of the rich was worth much in dollar value, the gift of the widow was worth more in life value.
They gave a percentage out of all they had; she gave all she had.
Who trusted God more?
1 Samuel 16: 7 Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.
Evening Prayer today at 6 pm at Christ the King.