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Friday, October 15, 2010

10/16/10 Luke 21:1-4 The Widow's Gift

1 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 "Truly I tell you," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."

 (Widow's Mite- Tissot)(coins-lepta-"thin one" Bolden)

Thoughts: The size and cost of a gift is not what makes it valuable.  Rather, that the gift was given sincerely and sacrificially makes the gift precious.  How did Jesus know this was all the widow had?  His divinity showed itself once more.  But he was trying to teach the disciples to not be wowed at the gifts of the wealthy.  One wealthy person can make up for the lack of gifts from many poor people, but the quantity of the gift is not so important to God as the quality of the giving.  Giving during a recession, is more valuable than giving during time of prosperity for most- for the sacrifice and risk are greater.  But putting our wealth and welfare in God's hands shows great faith- as this widow had.  She entrusted herself to God.  We do not know what happened to her, but we do know she is always remembered for her gift and her faith. 

Prayer: Lord, teach me to give.  Help me to be inspired by this person who put her faith in you and her life in your hands in trust.

John Calvin abridged: Whatever we offer God ought not to be estimated by apparent value but of the heart. So the poor who appear not to have the power to do good are encouraged.  This also is a rebuke to the wealthy to not be proud of their gifts just because they surpass the gifts of the poor.  This widow's obvious piety testifies that she and all she possessed belonged to God. It may also be noted that the offerings were not used properly, but that should not discourage givers to do what was holy and in obedience to God's commands.

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