SCRIPTURE: Mark 12: 41-44
And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
First, let me give you an idea of how poverty-stricken this widow had become. It took two mites to make a farthing. Before Australia changed to the decimal currency of dollars and cents (14th Feb 1966), we used the imperial system of pounds, shillings and pence. It was a twelve pence structure instead of ten cents (deci meaning ten), which seems kind of strange these days, but it worked.
As a child, the smallest coin I could get was a farthing, and I could buy two licorice blocks. A farthing was a quarter of a penny (a fourth-ing). So two mites were half of that. Not much at all. The equivalent in my day of a tiny licorice block approximately 10mm x 10mm x 3mm.
Yet, despite this impoverished widow's pitiful offering, which would have achieved very little for the needs of the treasury, Jesus considered it a golden sacrifice worth much more than the offerings of the rich that could be used for many great works.
From this widow's heartfelt generosity and budgeting, we see how easy it would have been for the man with one talent to achieve the minuscule goal of investing it, placed on him by his master. (Matt 25:24-28) Instead, he was thrown into outer darkness. on the other hand, the widow was personally praised by the King of Kings. This woman would have found a way to accomplish his task.
Jesus looked beyond the size of her offering to her day-to-day sacrifices made with her treasury intentions in mind. What a woman!
Yet as Christians, we often find it difficult to budget two mites worth of time to do the Lord's work. For the widow to put her two mites into the treasury, she sacrificed food, clothing or comfort.
Is there something more we can surrender to find our two mites worth of Godly giving? Not for our own redemption's sake, but out of a generous heart, like the widow?
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, I have given before, but the widow's bountiful heart makes me embarrassed. Please help me find offerings of all sorts to give to your Kingdom's work.
Photo by Visual Stories || Micheile