I don’t know of a pastor that enjoys teaching on the topic of finances. Because church history is littered with charlatans who have abused the finances of unsuspecting believers there is a tendency to avoid the subject (even Judas stole from the offerings given to Jesus). Yet financial support of God’s program is important, so I thought we would look at a big money offering that impressed our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” (Luke 21:1–4, ESV)
Each coin the widow gave was worth 1/64 of a day’s wage. Using a minimum wage of $8/hour, in our day the widow’s offering would have been around $2. A $2 offering got the attention of our Lord and Savior! What can we learn from this poor widow’s offering?
Jesus said the widow gave more “than all of them”. Notice He did not say, “any of them”. He said “all of them”, meaning that her meager contribution was more than all the other offerings added together! How could that be? Jesus is teaching us that in God’s economy, it’s not the amount given that matters, but the priority of values in one’s giving. Where did God fit in the widow’s value system? Jesus states that the widow gave “out of her poverty”. Out of all the people there, she needed that $2 more than anyone else. She offered “all she had to live on”. She epitomized the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 6:33.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things (life’s necessities) will be added to you.”
This widow gave out of her need. Can you see the value she placed on God? He was first and greatest in her life! But what about the other givers that day? Jesus said, “they all contributed out of their abundance”. Can you see the value they placed on God? He was at best 2nd place. These large givers were giving to God after they had taken care of themselves. They gave to God from their leftovers. Your giving reflects your affections. You give to that which you adore.
A big money offering in God’s eyes has nothing to do with the amount given, but is an offering that shows He is of the highest priority and value in a believer’s life. What does your offering look like to God?
Further reading: Matthew 6:25-34; John 12:1-8; Exodus 35:4-29
David Harris is the Senior Pastor at Faith Baptist Church. A former programmer, in his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife Kim and trying his hand at the illusive craft of smoking meat.