Abundance v. Poverty

Mark 12:41-44; also appearing in Luke 21:1-4

41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. 43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”

Mark 12:41–44 (NKJV)

21 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, 2 and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. 3 So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; 4 for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”

Luke 21:1–4 (NKJV)

In these parallel accounts of the widow giving two mites into the treasury, Jesus teaches a valuable lesson on generosity in the face of varying conditions. The rich gave much, which was admirable, yet it came from their abundance. The widow, on the other hand, having nothing, gave from her poverty and gave all that she had. While this may not be an admonition to give everything of your substance every time you go to church, it is a lesson in the sacrificial nature of giving that moves the heart of God. Tithing is taught, even by Christ, as a reasonable means of funding the basic work of God. Giving of offerings meets special needs. But when God’s people give all they have to serve God and provide for His work, amazing things can be accomplished and the gospel can overspread the earth. Giving liberally and without fear, for God will honor such sacrifice!

Artwork from https://www.jw.org/en/library/books/jesus/final-ministry/widows-mite/

One comment

  1. Thats always been a good story. Jesus knew how to pick them. While I support giving money to the church meaning the work of God by fellow brothers in the lord, this story is not about money its about intent of the heart. The story could have just as easily been about two different pastors visiting people in the hospital or two organists playing in church or two taxi drivers cleaning their cars. One was beyond the pride but felt there was a greater purpose, and one felt by doing the thing they would be elevated in peoples eyes. Most wont admit but they generally have some of both people in them. I think it stems from co-dependency and the pride is anchored in low self esteem not sorted out. It causes people to live fake lives for the benefit of being seen and without realizing it they are controlled by peoples opinions. Several passages graze the issue. (they loved the praises of men more than the praises of God.) its not as easy as saying get over it and become kinder or more holy. There is emotional homework to be done.

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