Have you heard the story called “The Widow’s Mite?”
If you’ve been in church long enough, you may have coloured pictures of the scene in Sunday School, or heard sermons that pointed out the virtues of the widow who gave all that she had.
As I have read, taught and preached on this story, it is clear that Jesus views the woman’s sacrificial giving in higher esteem than the contributions of the rich.
But as I heard the story again this week, I had an “ah ha” moment.
Just imagine with me.
This poor widow making her way to the temple. I imagine her wearing her well worn woollen garment and a scarf that covered her grey streaked hair. Perhaps she was contemplative as she walked on the dusty road. She had earlier looked into her little money pouch only to find two small coins. Not once did she wonder how she would buy wheat for her next meal. She knew God would provide. God always did. She slipped the two coins into her pocket and as she walked she felt the metal against her fingers.
I imagine her shuffling through the busy streets of Jerusalem, people everywhere but no one takes notice of her. She keeps her eyes down as she climbs the steps of the temple. As she stands in front of the offering receptacle, she takes hold of the coins from within her pocket and places them in the container.
At the very same time, Jesus was sitting opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury (Mark 12:41).
Jesus watched as the poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents (Mark 12:42).
What Jesus does next is what I found interesting.
Jesus said absolutely nothing to the woman. There was no praise. No, “You go girl”. No, “I am so proud of you!”. No accolades or applause.
Instead Jesus used this as a teachable moment for his disciples. He called them to Himself and 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.” (Mark 112:43-44).
As the poor widow turns to leave, I imagine a smile coming over Jesus’ face. I imagine he even laughs to Himself as He thinks about what she will find in her little worn money pouch the next day. God blesses His children.
So this was the profound “Ah ha” moment for me. Maybe you’ve already figured this out, but this is what God showed me this week.
I, as a follower of Jesus, have to endeavour to do the right thing all the time. It doesn’t matter what others say, or don’t say, do or don’t do. It doesn’t matter if it goes against the norm or might look ridiculous. I must do what God has called me to do. I must be faithful to who God has called me to be. I serve an audience of ONE. And in my obedience and faithfulness to God, I will be blessed. And so will you!
I look forward to worshipping with you on Sunday as we continue our sermon series entitled, We're Different!