Most of us are familiar with the bible story of “The Widow’s Mites.”
“ 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.” Mark 3:43-44
The moral of the story has always been taught to be about giving. It is easy to give when one has an abundance. However, when one’s resources are not abundant, it becomes a tad more difficult to part with the little that one has. Jesus was teaching his disciples that this widow’s giving of her farthing was deemed more valuable than that of the rich people who gave more simply because they had more to give. The widow did not have an ample supply of funds. On the contrary, the two mites that she gave were all that she possessed. Yet, her faith motivated her to offer it. Therefore, Jesus, seeing the heart behind the offering deemed it more valuable than the heart behind the offering of those who gave simply because they had an abundance to give.
It is a timeless and valuable lesson. One that should remind us that when we make offering to the Lord, He sees the heart behind the offering. He sees the faith, the underlying motive. He cannot be deceived by quantity. He is, however, moved by the quality – the heart quality – of the offering.
Another thing struck me when I read this passage today.
Perhaps it was the particular words that were used. I am not sure. However, as I read them, they opened up another perspective that I believe is very important.
Verse 44 says, “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.”
As I stated before, this story is used, in most cases, to illustrate giving money. However, as I read the words “but she of her want…” and “did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” It became clear to me is that it was some pressing need in the widow’s heart that led her to the treasury that day. Her offering was not made to obey a law, or to be recognized. It was made in direct response to something that was pressing heavily on her heart. Therefore, she came that day to pour herself out. To lay herself bare before the Lord.
The “pressing” may have been a desire. It may even have been a show of thanks. Whatever it was, it moved her to reach out to the Lord with her everything. “Even all her living.”
Let us not even think about money for a moment.
How often do we, in our want of God or our want from God, give all that we have? How do we allow ourselves to be broken down, to the point of physical, emotional and psychological helplessness because God has revealed to us in a “pressing of our spirit” that we are not right with Him?
We may say that we do when we pray. However, where we often (either during church service or personal prayer time) may lose ourselves in prayer, once it’s over, we get up and resume our lives as usual.
However, compare it to the offering of the two mites. Remember, a widow back in those times was a helpless person. She was at the mercy of whomever would provide for her financially and physically because she no longer had a husband. Meaning, since the person, by law, who was legally responsible to provide for her was no longer there, she was alone and without means unless someone else stepped up to provide for her. Therefore, when the widow put in those two mites, she no longer had any money. She put in all she had, and now, she had nothing.
There was no life as usual with the widow that day. She gave it all, “Even all her living.”
The Lord is telling us here that it is the giving of all of our living that He seeks from us.
In Christianity today, it is almost as if the only reason that we seek Christ is to make our life – as we want and desire it to be – better.
But we are still in charge of that life.
We “call the shots”. We envision how the life should turn out and every course of action we take is to ensure that our life visions come to fruition.
But what Jesus wants is for us to give up our lives!
He wants us to take “All of our living” and freely offer it up to Him.
He wants the “pressing” of His Spirit (that, if we are paying attention, reveals to us that we are not right with Him) to stir up a want in us.
What is this “want”? The “want” is Jesus, Himself! His very Life!
Jesus does not prompt us to desire an improvement of our lives…
He prompts us to desire a replacement of our lives!
Our life for His Life! (Galatians 2:20)
The widow in this story represents an impoverished spirit. A spirit that has come to the realization that they have no physical provider. A spirit that has realized that God is the only true provider and it was this realization that manifested as the “want” of the widow.
The widow did not know what was going to happen to her after that moment. But the passage tells us that because Jesus saw and acknowledged the heart of her offering, He was going to take care of her.
Do we have that faith?
Do we have the faith to offer all of our impoverished lives to Him, for the want of Him?
Or would we rather pray for an overabundance first? Then from that overabundance we make an offering. Giving Him only a part of ourselves.
Brethren, as long as we still look upon our lives as being “adequate” or “not that bad” or simply in the need of a “sprucing up”, we will never have the impoverished spirit that the widow represents here.
Jesus wants us, by the enlightenment of His Spirit, to see that in our natural lives, we are as poor widows.
He then wants us to come, driven by the “want” of the better life that Life in Christ has to offer, and offer ‘’all that we have, even all of our living.”
As He saw and acknowledged the widow, He will see and acknowledge us!
He will then establish Himself in our lives as our Husband and our Provider. He will be there constantly to satisfy our every need. As He has promised us that he would.
May we, by His Spirit, continue to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.