A Poor Widow’s Offering

person holding pink piggy coin bank

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

 

Reading the Word

Mark 12:41–44 (ESV)

41 And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Parallel Text: Luke 21:1-4

Understanding and Applying the Word

In today’s passage we read of a woman who gave “two small copper coins, which make a penny.” The coins that are mentioned are lepta. A lepton was a Jewish coin worth about 1/128th of a day’s wage. So, two coins would have only been worth about 1/64th of a daily wage. The two coins were of a very small value. They were insignificant by worldly standards.

Jesus commented on the woman’s offering and remarked that the woman had given more than the rich people who put in large sums. Why did he say this? Because the rich gave out of their excess. It was easy for them to give the amounts they did. They would never miss it! However, the woman was poor and gave all that she had to live on. Her gift was truly sacrificial and revealed what was truly valuable to her.

It is a well-known saying: “Show me what a person spends his money on and I will tell you what is truly important to him.” What would our financial records reveal about us. Do we put God and his kingdom first, or are we only ready and willing to give out of our excess? How we use our money, possessions, and time truly reveals what is most important to us.

*If you enjoy reading Shaped by the Word, please consider sharing this post on social media. Doing so helps us reach a larger audience. Thanks for reading!

Advertisements

Sell Your Possessions and Give to the Needy

grayscale photo of human lying on ground covered of cardboard box

Photo by THE COLLAB. on Pexels.com

 

Reading the Word

Luke 12:33–34 (ESV)

33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Jesus spoke a great deal about possessions and coveting in the previous verses (cf. Luke 12:13-32). The focus of his teaching was telling his disciples to learn to trust that God would care for them. The disciples needed to learn to make kingdom priorities their priorities while trusting that their daily needs would be provided by their loving Father.

To end this section and in keeping with the same theme, Jesus told his disciples to sell their possessions and give to the needy. Again, care for the needy is a kingdom priority. Believers are called to care for others because all people are created in the image of God. We are to show Christ’s love for others by caring for them and by also sharing the gospel message.

People are much more important than possessions. Possessions eventually just end up in the trash can or left behind when we die. Instead, we should concentrate on things that last for eternity. We should invest in people, in the kingdom of Christ, and in proclaiming the gospel. This is what Jesus meant when he said, “Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.”

What are the priorities in your life?

**If you enjoy reading Shaped by the Word, please consider sharing this post on social media. Doing so helps us reach a larger audience. Thanks for reading!

Give Justice to the Weak

Psalm 823 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 82:1–8 (ESV)

1 God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: 2 “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah 3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. 4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” 5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. 6 I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; 7 nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.” 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations!

Understanding and Applying the Word

The meaning of “gods” in the first verse is debated. It could refer to world leaders or the evil forces behind those leaders. Regardless, God stands above and calls them to account. God’s concern is for their injustice in how they have treated the weakest in society. They have failed to properly care for the weak, the fatherless, and the needy.

The Bible tells us that God is especially concerned for the weak. He calls his people to show the same concern. After all, he demonstrated his love for those who could not help themselves when he sent his Son into the world to save those who would trust in him. Jesus died for those who were poor and needy and weak that we might be saved. Let us have the same compassion for others that God has shown to us.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!