And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; 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)
Jesus Cares For The Impoverished
The temple was a very busy place. People were constantly flowing in and around to offer worship to the Lord, make sacrifices in accordance to the Law and bring their gifts for the treasury. Jesus spent a lot of time in the Temple teaching. The chief priests, scribes and elders debated Him, challenging Him to trap Him in His words. The Sadducees debated the resurrection with the Lord. In all of this busy activity of teaching Jesus took notice of a certain poor widow. For most people she did not exist. When she came to the Temple few if any would take notice. Her clothing would be unkempt as she quietly moved among the crowd. Some would she her only as a bother for being in their way. The religious elite never knew she existed.
Jesus saw how the rich put their gifts in the Temple box. There was an air of superiority with the abundance of these gifts. Men dressed in splendid clothing brought great sums of money to deposit with lavish flair into the treasury. These were the nobles of the day. Their gifts were fully recognized by one and all. No one took notice of the poor widow but Jesus. While the rich lauded their self-righteous lives a quiet figure approached the box and from tattered clothing drew out two mites. The mite was the ‘penny’ of her day. She did not have a ‘dollar’ to her name but she gave all she had and that was only ‘two cents.’ Jesus said her gift was of greater value than all the abundance of those who had so much to give. He noticed the poor widow.
We live in a world that can be harsh. Like the days of Jesus those with an abundance of things can be noticed and those with little forgotten. The story of the widow’s mites goes beyond the amount of her gift. It shows the Lord notices the downtrodden, the afflicted, and the poor. He sees what they have and what they do. The world sees a picture very different from what the Lord sees. He is not interested in the abundance of man’s possessions but the abundance of a man’s heart. The rich of His day relied upon transient things for their happiness. The widow just loved God and wanted to give Him something she really needed more than Him. Yet her heart was willing to give all she had. Jesus saw her in a crowd. He took notice. He loved her.
There is nothing today that Jesus will not take notice of. He sees us for who we are. He understands all our needs and wants. His heart is touched by our sorrow. The hand of the Lord reaches forth for those who are troubled. Our poverty of spirit is revealed to Him and He blesses us with His presence. Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury but He really noticed the poor widow. He takes notice of me and that is such a comfort. Thank you Lord for seeing me.
We do not usually learn that Christ is all we need until we reach that place where He is all we have. (Vance Havner; 1901-1986)