The Poor Widow: Giving God Everything
Day 5, Week 4 of Beautifully Surrendered, a Love God Greatly Bible Study
In the “making of disciples” Jesus didn’t always stand and preach but instead used real life situations to show and tell/teach them how to live. He observed people and events and used them as teachable moments. His observations of the poor widows gift was an opportunity to teach them about the real importance of giving an offering and the judgment that should and shouldn’t be made.
It’s important to note that Jesus wasn’t teaching that the wealthy should not give or that the poor should give all they have. Rather, He was pointing out how they gave – the wealthy gave out of their wealth, in other words not from what they needed but from what was left over – meaning it cost them nothing. The widow, however, gave out of her poverty or more specifically what she had to live on. Her offering cost her everything and it was her gift that Jesus pointed out as the greater gift. Again, not because it was monetarily more but because of what it cost her.
How Then Should We Live?
We should live as the ‘poor widow’, giving not out of what we have left over – but from what we need to live on. Did she have to give it all? No, I don’t think so, for Jesus didn’t use the moment to teach that “she gave what was expected” but rather that her two coins were more than all that the wealthy had given. This type of giving requires faith and surrender in every way. Give from the heart, give as the Lord leads you to give, and let whatever you give be a sweet smelling sacrifice to the Lord.
I think this is a good lesson for examining not only what we give but why we give, making sure that our gifts are acts of the heart rather than habit – as though we are paying a monthly bill. We must not see God as a debt collector but as the One who, by grace1, paid our debt2. He paid our sin-debt with the life of His son; and this was a free gift, one given out of His love3, not as a reward for something we had done1. When we see God as the extravagant gift giver that He is, we will give as the widow, not as though we could ever repay Him – but out of hearts of love – a love born out thankfulness and adoration for who is, what He has done, and what He’s promised to those who believe.
1Ephesians 2:8-9, For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
2Romans 3:23, For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. and Romans 6:23, For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
3John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
Father, Giver of life and love, of provisions and grace and endless mercies – You clearly give from the heart as is evident in the gift of Your Son. May we be so generous and purposeful in our own giving. And may each gift bring You pleasure and glory and be useful in drawing others to You – in His Name, Amen!
What’s your take away from the poor widow’s story?
The poor widow in Mark 12 gave everything she had:
- Why did her sacrifice mean so much?
- What did her giving reveal about her heart and her faith in God?