(Mark 12:42KJV) 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.
This is one of the most thought provoking stories in the Bible. If one should ever wonder what total dedication to the Lord looks like…all they have to do is read the story of the little widow who gave her all.
The setting for this story is like many others today…when a visiting preacher finishes his sermon a special offering is usually taken up for him.
The same thing was true with Jesus. When He finished His teaching…an offering for His ministry was also being taken up for Him. The thing that made His case different was that He actually saw what the people were giving. Like in most offerings, there were those who gave a lot and those who gave a little. However, the offering that caught Jesus’ attention the most was the offering of a poor little widow who gave all of the money she had to live on which was “two mites.”
Jesus was so moved by her offering that He called His disciples to come and see and learn the true meaning of giving.
It was not the amount of the gift that caught Jesus’ attention, but the percentage of the gift. The others gave a larger amount, but it was a much smaller percent of what they had. The poor widow gave a smaller amount, but it was 100% of what she had and that is why Jesus said she gave the most. In other words, some of a lot is less than all of a little.
It is also interesting that Jesus did not call the public’s attention to the widow’s giving...only His disciples…the leaders. Is it possible that Jesus is showing us that the lesson on giving must start with the leaders first?
Perhaps this story is not as much about money as it is about making Jesus Lord of one’s life.
Over the years I have written a lot of stories where I included a very precious woman in my life that everyone lovingly referred to as “Ma.” Even though Ma has been dead for many years, she had an everlasting impact on my life that started when I was a young man.
Ma never had much of this worlds goods, but like the widow in our text she gave all she had. She lived in the East Texas woods in a small frame house that she commonly referred to as her shack. The floors were uneven, the house leaned a bit and the screen door only had half a screen. Ma had no teeth and she often walked around bare footed.
Although her "shack" was located on a little sandy bumpy lane that was full of pot holes, she seemed to have a steady stream of people driving there for prayer and comfort.
Ma taught me more about giving, faith and true ministry than all the other training that I have had put together. She taught me how to love without cost, to give all and hold nothing back, to pray without ceasing, to look at life through the eyes of faith and to know that “all things work together for those who love the Lord.”
As a matter of fact, most all the ministry I have done over the last fifty-five years is after the pattern taught by Ma. Perhaps one of the points that Jesus was trying to make was that all of us need a Ma in our lives. I just wonder!
Thank You for teaching me invaluable lessons through such incredible women as the poor widow woman and Ma. Others may have taught my brain, but these women taught my heart.