The Real Giver-Luke 21:1-4

Luke 21:1-4 “As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.  3 “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Luca 21:1-4 « Poi, alzati gli occhi, Gesù vide dei ricchi che mettevano i loro doni nella cassa delle offerte. 2 Vide anche una vedova poveretta che vi metteva due spiccioli, 3 e disse: «In verità vi dico che questa povera vedova ha messo più di tutti; 4 perché tutti costoro hanno messo nelle offerte del loro superfluo, ma lei vi ha messo del suo necessario, tutto quello che aveva per vivere».

This was a timely example of the lesson Jesus just gave concerning how the teachers of the law viewed the poor. The temple had 13 chests where people could give offerings for temple maintenance. As Jesus rested in the temple area, he observed those who thought giving in front of the popular rabbi would be commended. The rich paraded through as everyone watched and no doubt heard the many coins drop into the chest. Others also came and finally the poor widow giving her gift valued at 1/4th of a cent. This scene and the message from Jesus sent a piercing indictment to the teachers of the law and the demonstration by the rich. Her gift was the smallest Jewish coin and it would not make a real difference in the total offering if she didn’t give it. The fraction of a penny she gave was all she had to live on. How could Jesus say that she gave more than all the others? The Scripture says that she gave more proportionally than all the others. The point was not the amount but she was the true giver. Proverbs 25:14 says, “Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of gifts he does not give.” Certainly generosity to the things of God is a blessing but let us not think that the amount is more important than individual sacrifice.

She knew that this act of sacrifice would deplete all her reserves. How would she live in the days to come? She was a widow and her resources would be very meager. She would have to do as she had been doing: depend on God’s providence to live.

Pray with me: Lord, I want to be faithful to You in my giving knowing that it comes from You. Help me to trust You when you challenge me to sacrifice for Your kingdom.


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