“THE POOR WIDOW – SHE DID WHAT SHE COULD SHE COULD”
Part 1 of 2
How exciting it must have been to be present on the occasion when Jesus sat over against the treasury, and observed the proceedings as folks came by and put their money into the treasury. You will find this recorded in Mark 12:41-44:
“And Jesus sat over against the treasury and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”
Jesus observed people putting money into the treasury. “This may have been one of 13 receptacles, in the area known as the Women’s Court….These receptacles were marked, indicating how the money would be used (temple tribute, wood, sacrifices, incense, etc.). (Copeland). Burton Coffman gave this description, “The Sanhedrin met within earshot of the place; and it was here that they brought the woman taken in adultery. It was the scene of some of Jesus’ most remarkable teachings (John 8:1-20).”(Coffman).
Also, the context of this passage needs to be observed. It should be noted that Jesus is teaching them to “…Beware of the scribes…” (Mark 12:38), and the Pharisees as well (Mt. 23), because of their desire to be noticed. “They love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplace…The chief seats in the synagogue, and the uppermost rooms at the feast…” (Mark 12:38-39). But in the next verse, Jesus specifically points out that they “devour widows houses” (Mark 12:40). So Jesus then uses a poor widow to make a very indelible point and to highlight their hypocrisy.
Jesus delivered a great message to his disciples by teaching them about giving. This message was for His disciples for “He called unto him his disciples…” (Mark 12:43). It was intended for them and all of the disciples of Jesus then and now. These scribes gave, but there was no sacrifice, for they gave out of their abundance (Mark 12:44) while the poor widow gave all that she had. She did what she could. She didn’t have an abundant amount but that did not stop her from giving.
(There are several lessons we can learn from this passage. (See these lessons in next weeks bulletin.)