The Widow’s Coins

Read: Mark 12:35-44

Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. (v. 43)

Scripture has many instances where Jesus was in the temple. When he was of age, his parents took him there for his dedication (Luke 2:21-24). As a young boy, he got left behind there (Luke 2:41-52). He famously turned over the tables of the money changers (Matt. 21:12-13). He taught, he prayed, and he read from Scripture. However, in our Bible reading today, Jesus is observing.

Mark states that he sat “opposite the place where the offerings were put” (Mark 12:41 NIV). In other words, Jesus positioned himself there on purpose so he could watch the people who were giving their offerings. One by one, the well-to-do came by and placed large amounts ceremoniously in the offering box. I imagine that they congratulated themselves, and maybe even each other, on their abundant tithes. Tithes that, while large, were nonetheless contributed with ease and comfort.

And then, a lone widow hobbles along at the end of the line. With humility and thanksgiving, she contributes “everything she had, all she had to live on” (v. 44), which were two copper coins, a couple of pennies (v. 42). And with that, the heart of Jesus is moved.

Make no mistake, no gift is insignificant in the hands of our Savior. He judges gifts not by their heft, but by their heart. By that measure, the widow’s gift that day was priceless.

As you pray, ask God for a humble and giving heart.

About the Author

Lou Bury is the pastor at Downers Grove Community Church in Illinois. He has the pleasure of serving the Lord alongside a congregation committed to being “the hands and feet of Jesus in the community.” He and his wife Judy have two adult children and two granddogs.

This entry is part 6 of 14 in the series Truly, Truly: Paying Attention to Jesus