For three years, Jesus had made His mark throughout Israel. Stories about Him feeding the multitudes with a few fish and loaves, healing people of diseases, casting out demons, healing the crippled, and even raising the dead became the talk of the day. I think that it is safe to assume that everyone in Israel, except a hermit in a mountain cave, would have heard about Jesus of Nazareth. And a large majority of them are now in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover.
It is the final days of Jesus' life, He is in the temple at Jerusalem, and representatives of various Jewish groups come to Him asking Him questions. He had answered questions from the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and even the Herodians. He had answered them correctly, and He had answered them in a way that showed His authority. He had put them all to silence. And it is in the midst of this situation that one of the scribes comes forward and asks Him a question, "What is the greatest commandment?" This scribe was testing His yoke. How did Jesus interpret theTorah? If you wanted to know what a Rabbi with semikhah's yoke was, you would simply ask him, "What is the greatest commandment?" The greatest commandment will tell you what his yoke is. Jesus says the two greatest commandments are: Love God and love your neighbor:
And the scribe said to Him, "Right, Teacher, You have truly stated that HE IS ONE; AND THERE IS NO ONE ELSE BESIDES HIM; 33 AND TO LOVE HIM WITH ALL THE HEART AND WITH ALL THE UNDERSTANDING AND WITH ALL THE STRENGTH, AND TO LOVE ONE'S NEIGHBOR AS HIMSELF, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." 34 And when Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And after that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions. (Mark 12:32-34 NASB)
Now we have a silence, the religious leaders have no more questions for Jesus. And then Jesus speaks:
And Jesus answering began to say, as He taught in the temple, "How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? (Mark 12:35 NASB)
Notice what our text says, "And Jesus answering..." The word "answering" is from the Greek word apokrinomai, which means: "(1) to give an answer to a question proposed, to answer. (2) to begin to speak, but always where something has preceded (either said or done) to which the remarks refer."
Who is Jesus answering? What was the question? I think, I can't prove it, but I think he was answering the unasked question of the scribe. Jesus had just told the scribe, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." I would think that to that the scribe would ask," What do I lack?" or, "How can I enter the kingdom of God?" Then in typical Rabbinic form, Jesus answers this question with a series of questions, "How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? David himself said in the Holy Spirit, 'THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD: "SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I PUT THINE ENEMIES BENEATH THY FEET." David himself calls Him 'Lord'; and so in what sense is He his son?"
What is Jesus asking this scribe? He is asking him, "What do you think about the Christ?" He did not let the group leave without asking them," Who is the Christ?" To answer it would have radically altered everything in their lives. It would have changed their entire world view. It would have changed their associations and friendships. It would have affected their families and careers. And it still does.
"What do you think about the Christ?" The word Christ and Messiah are the same word. Messiah is the Hebrew version. Christ is the Greek version. Both mean: "anointed one." The Messiah was to be the anointed one of God.
Since the days of David, the Jews had looked for the Christ to come. He was the Messiah that God had promised as the Redeemer of Israel. Throughout the Diaspora, when Israel was scattered throughout the ancient kingdoms of Assyria and Babylon, longing for Messiah increased. The surge of nationalism, during the time of the Maccabeans, fueled the expectancy of Messiah. During this era Pharisaism was born, swaddled with Messianic fever in infancy and continuing on to Jesus' day. So what did they think about the Christ? You can be sure that they had opinions.
There was no hesitation in the response of the Pharisees when they were asked "Whose son was Messiah, the Christ?" Everyone who looked for Messiah's coming believed He was to be the "son of David." The word "son" as used here is a Hebraism speaking of a descendant. David was looked at as Israel's greatest king, and the Messiah was seen by the Jews as David's descendant who would restore David's kingdom to its original glory. This was indicated by the prophets, who said that the Messiah would come through the line of David, and who would reign on the throne of David (cf. 2 Samuel 7:8-29; Mic. 5:2):
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:6-7 NASB)
At the birth of our Lord, it was emphasized that Jesus was of the line of David, and that He had come to reign on His father's throne (Matt. 1:1; Luke 1:27, 69; 2:4):
"And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; (Luke 1:31-32 NASB)
In Mark 10:47, Bartimaeus, the blind man, on the outskirts of Jericho called to Jesus as the "Son of David." In Matthew 12:23, The crowds that witnessed the power of Jesus Christ in healing and delivering a demon-possessed man asked, "This cannot be the son of David, can He?" Even a Canaanite woman. who came to Him for help with her demon-possessed daughter, called Him, "Lord, son of David" (Matthew 15:22).
The scribes, the Pharisees, the religious leaders, they all understood that the Messiah was to be a son of David. Jesus was a physical descendant from David. As a matter of fact, as you trace the lineage of Jesus, you find that on both sides of the family, He descended from David. Joseph was a descendant of David and so was Mary. This is important to understand because Jesus really was not physically descended from Joseph. His physical descent had to be traced through Mary, because He was divinely conceived in her womb by the Holy Spirit without the benefit of Joseph.
The Jews believed that Psalm 110 was a Psalm about the Messiah as a son of David. So Jesus takes them back to that text and says:
"David himself said in the Holy Spirit, 'THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, "SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I PUT THINE ENEMIES BENEATH THY FEET."' (Mark 12:36 NASB)
Consider how shocking this would have been to the Jews of Jesus' day. While kurios, or lord, was used as a respectful title of a dignity and even used in the way that we use the word "sir," that was not the case in the way Jesus used it with them. Jesus most likely spoke in Hebrew using the title "Adonai." That name was reserved for the Lord God, often used as a substitute for the most revered title for the Lord, Yahweh, which Jews would not even utter for fear of mispronouncing the holy name of God.
How do you explain the fact that David called his son Adonai? In other words, why would David call his son his "God"?
Jesus did not appeal to Isaiah to prove His point, but rather to the 110th psalm, a psalm of David. Let's look at the entire Psalm:
(A Psalm of David.) The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand, Until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet." 2 The LORD will stretch forth Thy strong scepter from Zion, saying, "Rule in the midst of Thine enemies."3 Thy people will volunteer freely in the day of Thy power; In holy array, from the womb of the dawn, Thy youth are to Thee as the dew. 4 The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, "Thou art a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek." 5 The Lord is at Thy right hand; He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath. 6 He will judge among the nations, He will fill them with corpses, He will shatter the chief men over a broad country. 7 He will drink from the brook by the wayside; Therefore He will lift up His head. (Psalms 110:1-7 NASB)
This Psalm does not stress the humanity of Messiah. David did not refer to the Messiah as "his Son," but rather reveals the words of the Father Himself ("The LORD," v. 1), who speaks to Messiah, His Son and David's Lord ("my Lord," v. 1). It was taught in Scripture that Messiah would be the "son of David," and yet David himself refers to Messiah as "his Lord." How can this be? There was a clear, simple, but miraculous answer--the incarnation. Jesus Christ was, as the Scriptures foretold, and as the New Testament writers attested and confirmed, both God and man, human and divine, through the miracle of the virgin birth.
Jesus is saying that the Messiah is both human and divine. He is both physical and supernatural. He is both David's son and David's Lord, and indeed He is the Lord of all. Paul also taught this:
concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, (Romans 1:3-4 NASB)
He is God born of flesh - "the Word became flesh and dwelled among us." Through the Incarnation, God came to us, not as a phantom or a hybrid creature or an angel. He became one of us! God had come among them, Jesus was telling the Pharisees! They were gazing upon God in the flesh!
There are people today who teach that there was no place where Jesus claimed to be God. And for the life of me, I do not know what Bible they read. It's on almost every page of the Gospels, and this is one of many examples. But we often miss examples like this because we don't know the Scriptures. Jesus clearly declared Himself to be God.
Another clear example of Jesus claiming to be God that we often miss is found in the story of Zaccheus. Jesus comes along and says to Zaccheus:
And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:9-10 NASB)
The background to this statement is probably Ezekiel 34. God, angry with the leaders of Israel for scattering and harming His flock (the people of Israel), states that He Himself will become the Shepherd and will seek the lost ones and deliver (save) them.
"I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest," declares the Lord GOD. 16 "I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken, and strengthen the sick; but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with judgment. (Ezekiel 34:15-16 NASB)
What did everyone who knew the Scriptures hear Jesus say? "I will seek the lost... Who is Jesus? He's God!
David Flusser said, "You poor Christians, you wonder why the Bible doesn't say Jesus is God more often. It says it all the time, you just don't understand Jewish thought."
The testimony of the early church was a simple and clear one: Jesus Christ is Lord. That is probably the earliest statement of faith known to Christianity.
Because of what the Scriptures said concerning the Messiah coming from the lineage of David, they expected Him to be merely a physical descendant of David. But the thought of the supernatural never entered the picture. He would simply be a man.
So when Jesus said, "David himself calls him Lord," He threw the scribes into a theological dilemma. How could the Messiah be both David's son and his Lord? The scribes had never thought of that. The truth is, the Messiah could not be both David's son and his Lord if He were merely human. It would take a divine human being to do that. The scribes had no answer. They had never thought of the Messiah in terms of being a supernatural being. Yet, that is just what Jesus was.
The 110th Psalm went far beyond the issue of Messiah's humanity and His deity, referring to His coming in power to overthrow His enemies. Notice that verse 2 says that Messiah will, "Rule in the midst of Thine enemies." Who were the enemies of the Lord? If Jesus were the Messiah, as He claimed, and as John had testified, then the Jewish leaders were His enemies. They were the ones whom God would overthrow. And this is precisely what Jesus had suggested in the parable of the vineyard and the vine-growers earlier in this chapter.
The enemies of Messiah are the enemies of Jesus, and these enemies are not Gentiles, but Jews; indeed they are the leaders of the nation who have prostituted their power and position for their own gain, at the expense of the most vulnerable. The outcome was that the widows, those whom the law instructed Israelites to protect, were the victims of the leaders of Israel. No wonder they resisted Jesus, and no wonder God was about to destroy them.
Note one more thing about Psalm 110. The second (unquoted) stanza of the Psalm talks of the Messiah, not as Israel's King, but as her Priest. How would you have felt, if you were one of the priests of that day, to have been reminded of this Psalm, which spoke of a new order of priests, an order of which you were not a part? As Jesus had warned in the parable of the vine-growers, the position of the leaders would be taken away. The priesthood of a few would become the priesthood of all believers, especially of Gentiles. And the Great High Priest would be Christ Himself, who is a priest after the order of Melchizedek.
The Psalm clearly teaches both the humanity of Messiah (a son of David) and His deity (David's Lord). This was the fundamental problem that the leaders of Israel had with Jesus. If you could sum up the grievance of the Jewish leaders with Jesus, I believe it would be this: Although Jesus was merely a man (in the eyes of the Jews who rejected Him), he had the audacity to act like God.
When Jesus told the man lowered on his pallet through the roof that his sins were forgiven, the Pharisees immediately objected, on the basis that only God could forgive sins.
By citing this passage from Psalm 110, Jesus made it clear that they not only had a grievance with Jesus, who claimed to be both human and divine, but more so, they were inconsistent with the Scriptures, even those written by King David, which spoke of Messiah as a man and as God. The citing of Psalm 110 by our Lord brought the central issue into focus and showed it to be a truth taught clearly by the Scriptures:
"David himself said in the Holy Spirit, 'THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, "SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I PUT THINE ENEMIES BENEATH THY FEET."' 37 David himself calls Him 'Lord'; and so in what sense is He his son?" And the great crowd enjoyed listening to Him. (Mark 12:36-37 NASB)
These opening words to Psalm 110 are the most quoted portion of Scripture in the New Testament. While David was the human author, Jesus makes it clear that David spoke his Psalm under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Notice the Trinity here: The First Person speaks to the Second Person of the Trinity and we hear of it through David by the power of the Third Person of the Trinity.
Christ the Messiah starred them in the eyes. Each of the evidences needed for believing His deity and humanity was clear. But they checked their hermeneutics at the door! They refused to change their views and interpretations to submit to the divine evidence. They were sticking with their own propositions about the Messiah, regardless of what God had said. They would not budge, because to do so would crush their pride.
And in His teaching He was saying: "Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and like respectful greetings in the market places, 39 and chief seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at banquets, 40 who devour widows' houses, and for appearance's sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation." (Mark 12:38-40 NASB)
He now moves on to the practical problem of the scribes, who are His principle focus. Jesus tells the crowd "Beware"; this is a warning. Please notice who He is warning them of; it is the Jewish leaders!
Scribes were easily recognized because they wore a long, white, linen robe, which reached all the way to their feet. Around the bottom of this robe, it was hemmed by a long, white fringe. Most of the common people wore bright colors. But this resplendent white dress caused the scribes to stand out wherever they went.
The scribes were commonly greeted in respectful tones as "Rabbi," which means; "my great one or 'master' or 'father.'" When a scribe passed by, the people rose respectfully to honor him. At the feasts that the wealthy gave, scribes were given the place of honor, seated to the right and left of the host. In Jesus' day, scribes were honored above the elderly, even above their own parents. In the synagogues, the scribes were given the place of ultimate honorthey sat on a bench with their backs against the chest holding the Torah and with their faces toward the congregation so all could behold them. They were considered holy men, and they played the part well. They were proud and arrogant.
Jesus said that they, "devour widows' houses"--which is saying they use their religious position to take advantage of other people, especially the weak and the needy.
The word "devour" here is from the Greek word katesthio, which means: "to eat up ravenously, eat up, consume, devour, swallow," and is used figuratively as: "destroy, consume, waste, or rob." Here it may mean appropriating widows' houses or estates in an unethical manner.
I am convinced that there is no profession that has greater potential to take advantage of people in their most vulnerable moments than religious leaders. The reality is it's very easy to create an environment where, in order to experience God's favor, you have to have their favor; and if you don't get their favor, you can't have God's favor. Therefore, they place themselves on a level above everybody else. This is that whole clergy/laity division, which is wrong in the age of the priesthood of all believers.
It is very easy to use God to create a platform for self-glory. There are many religious celebrities--in the music business, in the preaching business, in the writing business--that have used God to glorify themselves.
A self-exalting lifestyle, however, is the antithesis of the lifestyle a Christian should have. A Christian should be known as one who seeks to serve, seeks to give, seeks to love, seeks to build up. But often, because of the greedy materialism of our world, we buy into the worldly ideas of success even in the area of religion.
Charles Sheldon wrote a powerful little book entitled, In His Steps. In that book, people in one community decide that they will begin to live their lives and run their businesses with one thought in mind"What would Jesus do?" In every decision they faced, in every course of action they planned, they asked, "What would Jesus do?"
It seems to me that the pressing need for Christians today is to ask that very same question: "What would Jesus do?" You see, the implications of Christ's Lordship in my life mean that I must ask myself the question in every decision, "What would Jesus have me do?" And then I must do it.
And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the multitude were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. (Mark 12:41 NASB)
These four verses are placed here by Mark in contrast to the scribes, to show how God's ways differ so greatly from those of men. The scribes loved riches, and they viewed wealth as an evidence of piety. God, in their minds, would be impressed by the wealthy and would be especially pleased by the size of their contributions. In these verses Jesus has condemned the "rich and famous,"and He commends the insignificant gift of a widow.
The Lord moves on in the Temple to a spot in the Court of the Women where people could sit down and watch one of the popular spectacles. In that court was situated the "treasury," which consisted of a line of thirteen chests shaped like trumpets into which men and women deposited their offerings. In the Jewish document called the Mishna, the different designations of these chests are listed, apparently one was for purchasing turtle doves, one was for purchasing pigeons, another was for wood for burning on the altar, and so on, but there were six that were labeled "free-will offerings."
Now, let's remember that the Lord Jesus was in Jerusalem at the feast of the Passover when the population of the city would be swollen by many pilgrims who had arrived for the feast. During Jesus' day, Jerusalem had a population of around 25,000 (Joachim Jeremias, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus, 27). The estimates of the size of the Passover crowd range from 180,000 on the low end to 3 million on the upper end (Jeremias, 77-84). Some of them were both devout and generous. There would be men like the Ethiopian Eunuch who had a responsible and high paying job as his country's Court Treasurer under Queen Candace. He had traveled a long way. This was his once in a lifetime opportunity to give to Yahweh, the Lord he worshiped. The crowds of people sat overlooking these trumpet-shaped receptacles, and they took special interest in the approach of a wealthy man with his servants. There was no paper currency in those days; everything was in coin. So a generous gift to the temple, a bag of money poured out, would rattle into the containers, much to the delight of the spectators.
Josephus tells us that some of the Pharisees, before they made their contribution to the great collection box Jesus was watching here, actually summoned a trumpeter to go before them to get everybody's attention. Then the Pharisee would come up and proudly deposit a bag of gold in the treasury chest. He wanted everybody to see his ample gift.
And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. (Mark 12:42 NASB)
She had two"copper coins." Actually, they were called "lepta." "Lepta" means: "thin one." They were some of the least valuable coins of the day. These two coins represented approximately a day's wage for her. Furthermore, Jesus reveals that these two coins were all the money she had. They were all she had to live on.
Yet, this widow came and dropped both the coins into the Temple treasury. She gave all she had. She could have kept one of the coins. I believe it's significant that Scripture reveals that she had two. Certainly a contribution of fifty percent of all you have would be a worthy gift indeed. But she gave, not fifty percent, but one hundred percent.
And calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; 44 or they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on." (Mark 12:43-44 NASB)
In contrast to the presumptuous authority of certain pompous religious leaders, Jesus commends the action of a sacrificial woman who recognizes that God is really in control. What could compel this impoverished woman to courageously yield all she had to live on? She must have been leaning entirely on the care of a Sovereign God.
This last phrase can be translated "out of her poverty, put in all her living" (ek tou hysterematos autes panta ton bion). The contribution really came from "all that remained of her life."
While the Pharisees have "devoured widows' houses," it is the gift of one such widow that is the focus of our Lord's praise and instruction. An insignificant amount of money greatly pleased Jesus, because of what it meant to her. It was her life, her livelihood, all that she had to live on. In giving this money, she evidenced her trust in God to provide for her needs and to sustain her life. Her trust was in her God, not in her money. Poverty was no reason to cease in her giving to God. How many of us, on the other hand, are sure to have all of our needs met first, and then to give God the left-overs?
This widow and her giving raises a question for us, Why Give? What we do with our money is a very important issue. We are all responsible to God for the stewardship of our money. Everything that God gives us is a test of our loyalty to Him, especially our money. We are all stewards, and we are all responsible to be involved in giving a portion of our money to the Lord. Look at what Paul told the Corinthians:
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. 2 On the first day of every week let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come. (1 Corinthians 16:1-2 NASB)
Notice that Paul says, "Let each one of you"every believer is to be involved in giving. Giving is an important function of the spiritual life. Giving is an aspect of worship.
And you yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; 16 for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs.17 Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. 18 But I have received everything in full, and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. (Philippians 4:15-18 NASB)
Worship is: "honor paid to a superior being." It means: "to give homage, honor, reverence, respect, adoration, praise, or glory to a superior being." Worship is a consuming desire to give to God, and it involves the giving of ourselves, our heart, attitudes, and our possessions. The worshiping believer is the giving believer.
So, first and foremost, our giving (when done properly) is an act of worship, it is an expression of love. But, secondarily, giving is necessary to support the leaders in the church and to support the needy in the church.
The believer has a financial responsibility to provide for those who are teaching the Word to him:
Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working? 7 Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard, and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock? (1 Corinthians 9:6-7 NASB)
Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Do you sailors have to pay for your cruises? Do you have to support yourself while you're out at sea? No, the Navy gives you a paycheck. Soldiers do not fight during the day and then work a civilian job at night in order to support themselves. Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? The farmer does not have a side job in order to support himself. He makes his living off the farm. Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock? The shepherd gets the benefit of the flock he shepherds. In any labor, the person who does the work has a right to live off of the work. Those who teach the Word of God have the right to expect support from those they teach.
The Scriptures also teach that we are to give to support the MISSIONARIES:
Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction. 15 And you yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; 16 for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. (Philippians 4:14-16 NASB)
In verse 15, the word "shared" is the Greek word koinaneo, which means: "to share with others, communicate, distribute, be a partner." They were partners with Paul in the Gospel ministry through their giving. They were helping spread the Gospel.
So we are to give to support the teachers in the church and the missionaries, and we are also to give to support the NEEDY in the church:
begging us with much entreaty for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, (2 Corinthians 8:4 NASB)
The word "participation" here is the Greek word koinonia. An analysis of the various ways koinonia is used in the New Testament reveals that its most common usage is to indicate the sharing of possessions with those in need. So, our giving is also to go to the meeting of needs of people in our fellowship.
I believe that your giving should go to the local church for its leaders to distribute as they see fit. The believers gave their money to the church leaders, and they distributed it to the people who had needs:
And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea. 30 And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders. (Acts 11:29-30 NASB)
We see that the disciples gave their giving to the elders so they could distribute it. The elders of the church should be the ones who are most informed as to the needs of the people.
So, our giving is an act of worship, and it is to be used to support the Bible teachers, missionaries, and the needy.
I think that the Scripture is very clear that we all are to be giving, the question that is so debated is, "How much are we to give?" You might be surprised to hear that the Bible teaches that the amount that we give is voluntary. The Bible teaches Grace Giving! And grace giving is voluntary.
I think that we see an important principle of grace giving in our text; GRACE GIVING IS TO BE SACRIFICIAL.
And calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on." (Mark 12:44 NASB)
She gave all she owned! The point that Jesus was making is that sacrifice is the essence of giving. In this case, the least money was the greatest gift. Our giving is to be sacrificial. Is yours? How much do you sacrifice?
Did God need this widow's money? No, of course not. Then why didn't Jesus tell this widow to keep her money? He lets her give, and His heart swells with pride for this lady. If He stops her, He deprives her of the blessing of giving to God. So He lets her do it. Why? I think this is about trust! She is trusting God to meet her needs, not trusting her money. Her faith was in God.
In answer to the scribes unasked question about how to enter the kingdom of God, Jesus responds, "Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." The religious leaders didn't trust God, but themselves and their works. The widow, in contrast, was trusting totally in the Lord. Where are you placing your trust?
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB)
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