Funny enough, the only one who notices what she does is The One who does not look at outward appearances but instead he looks at the heart. Jesus tells his disciples, “this poor widow has given all she had to live on.” In the Greek, Mark uses the word bios, the root of biology, the study of life. In other words, this poor widow put in her bios, her entire life, into God’s care. And this gets Jesus’ attention.
Her story is important because she is the perfect example of what it means to live the gospel. She trusts God so completely that nothing else matters. She gives without fear or worry, trusting instead on her faith. She gives God her all, believing and knowing God will do the same.
The dollar value of these coins is nothing. Their real worth comes from the sacrifice they represent. Same can be said about us. We are the coins, the real offering God wants. In the eyes of the rich and powerful, we might not be worth much. But in the eyes of God, we are priceless. God does not look at the size of your wallet, God looks at the size of your heart. A true offering is much more than an act of giving; it’s an act of being present with God and for God.
Jesus gave up all that he had so that we can live fully and faithfully with and for God’s grace. This is hard to do, if you don’t trust God like this nameless widow.
Her trust in God is aligned with Jesus’ trust. And together their stories reveal the true cost of discipleship – the giving over of one’s self to God so completely and faithfully that there’s nothing left but the Divine image that has been imprinted each one of our hearts.
The giving of the self for God and others is central to Jesus’ vision of discipleship. By giving God everything, the good and bad, the worthy or unworthy, we let go of things that keep us from truly becoming one with Jesus – and with one another.
Hidden in this story is a reminder that the kingdom of heaven is not something we bet on, but something we are able to live right now if we just give it all over to God.
Mark doesn’t tell us how the widow’s story ends. We don’t know if the disciples took money out of their own purse to help her, or if she entered the temple for the last time, to offer her final prayer. However, what we do know is this: She is a child of God. And like her, we are worth more to God than anything we can imagine.
Her place in the world isn’t based on material wealth or status. It’s grounded in the faithfulness of God’s promise. She is able to take a leap of faith because she knows in her heart that God has a deep concern for the care and wellbeing of the widows and orphans, and the most vulnerable in our societies.
She’s also putting her trust in us, a faith community who desires to be like Jesus who taught, “Whoever wants to be first must be last, and must a servant of all.” By being a living example of God’s pure love, Jesus shows us the many ways we can give all we have to help and care for those who have nothing to give in return.
In the telling of her story, Mark reminds us that everything we have is God’s already. I can’t give God anything other than myself.
I can be present with God in all aspects of my life and be the offering God desires the most. And I can be here for God, without holding anything back for others. I can do this because I trust and believe in my heart that God’s words are faithful and true.
God calls us to a gospel life: a life of love, grace, forgiveness and peace. A life where we can have it all, and a life we can give it all away for the sake of God’s kingdom.
As a beloved Child of an all-loving, ever faithful God, you are the gift.
My challenge to you this week is simple; Go out and be the gift of God’s sacrificial love; the gift that keeps on giving. Put your entire self into action – doing small things with great love.
For you never know who’s watching you do it.
Prayer: Lord, help us love you with all our hearts and with all our souls, and with all our minds and strength. Forgive us for the times we have been more concerned about status or show, than being more like Christ Jesus. Helps us to focus not on outward appearance but on the heart where your love dwells. As we leave here today, Lord, help each one of us to be generous and sacrificial in our giving and in our hearts, for the glory of your name, Amen.
has been blogging under the name: Jesus not Jesús: Looking for Christ in the face of strangers. You can read his posts and browse his archives by clicking here.
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