Mark 12:43-44 (ESV) — 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; 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.”
“All the church ever talks about is money.” I’ve heard people say that about churches so many times. I’ve actually come to the opinion that it has become such a cliché that even if the church never talked about money, people would still make the statement.
The reason for that is because the subject of money is so closely connected to our hearts. And if we’re being really honest, our hearts are corrupted and prone toward wickedness. So our relationship to money is not always healthy. The way we hear people talk about money is not always charitable or welcomed. Yet Jesus talked about money a lot. In fact, Jesus spoke about money more than he spoke about Heaven and Hell combined. Not because he was interested in money, but because he knows we are. And he knows how entangled our hearts are with it.
Our passage today is from the story of the woman who gave all she had to the treasury during worship. She only had a small amount, yet many others proudly carried much larger sums to the coffers. Jesus remarked that those people gave out of their surplus. They didn’t feel it. They didn’t miss it. It wasn’t sacrificial, nor required any faith. But this woman gave all that she had. She was demonstrating a trust in God that nobody else had done.
What is Jesus teaching us about money and giving in this story? He is teaching us that stewardship is about trusting God. Giving is about our reliance on God. We can give larger amounts than other people. But if our giving doesn’t affect us, or require any trust in God, then our giving is not done in faith. This woman faithfully gave even though she had little. It was faith that believed God would meet her needs.
Our own lives should be marked by generosity and faith in God when we give.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why is giving such a controversial topic in churches? Why do people struggle to give?
- How should Christians approach the subject of giving and stewardship?
- Why did the woman’s offering please Jesus above all the rest?
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