“Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, ‘Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’”
Recently, I have found myself thinking about money—mostly the idea of money. I'm realizing more and more how much our culture and status is dictated by what we monetarily have or do not have. It’s so easy for me to stumble into the comparison trap with my peers. It’s a dangerous place.
After revisiting the story of the widow’s offering, I have been refreshed by Jesus’s perspective on our money and giving. In the passage, Jesus turns the economy that we know upside down. He gives us a glimpse into his economy which looks beyond the monetary value of the gift and cuts to the heart of the giver. He acknowledges that a gift is far more than the value of the coin or the number on the check. It has more to do with the circumstances surrounding the giver and the condition of the heart.
A few things to point out. First, the passage shows us that giving is essential—out of abundance and poverty. That covers all of us.
Second, Jesus sees. The text says, “Jesus looked up and saw.” This tells us that giving is important to him. He knows the circumstances around our money. He sees how much we have and how much we give in proportion.
Finally, we see that our giving reveals our faith. Jesus counts the widow’s gift as greater because of what her gift says about her faith. It speaks loud and clear. Her giving says, “Jesus I trust in you; you have met all my needs; I give back to you what I have.” This is where Jesus reveals his economy. He says the widow has given “more than all of them.” He acknowledges that the size of the heart behind the gift is more important than the size of the gift.
This passage reminds me that our culture has it all wrong. When we engage in comparison, we are using the wrong system of measure. We are comparing by the world’s standards, the world’s economy–and it is broken.
Jesus’s economy is the true economy. His economy is about the heart; it’s about sacrifice. His economy is about two coins being worth more than many. His economy is about leaving the 99 to find the one lost sheep. His economy is about one man paying the price for everyone’s sin. That math just doesn’t add up by the world’s standards, but it’s math that gives me great assurance and hope.
(Written by Andrew Bleckley)