Widow’s Gift

Welcome to Day 03 of this Holy Week devotional journey.
We are following Jesus during the week leading up to his death and resurrection. 

What did Jesus focus on? 

What was He concerned with? 

What does God want us to see? 

And how will we respond?

Ok, let’s get started.

 

 

Pause and Make Space

Before we focus on the scripture, let’s make space to be still and pray.

As we enter prayer now, take some time to pause. Slow down. Be still.

Make some space by taking time to breathe deep and pray. 

Take 5 deep breaths in and out. 

Don’t skip this practice.

Take a moment to cast your cares upon God.

The Bible says he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). 

Do you have any cares, hopes, pain, or lies you need to let go of? 

Are there people and circumstances to give to God? 

Take some time to do just that, by praying, “Jesus I give you…”

 

Read the Scriptures

We will be making our way through the Gospel of Luke’s account of Jesus’ week leading up to His death and resurrection

Take a few seconds to pause and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you through the scriptures:

 

Today let’s read Luke 21:1-4 

 

He looked up and saw the rich dropping their offerings into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow dropping in two tiny coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For all these people have put in gifts out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.”

 

Let’s read these verses a second time from the Message:

 

Just then he looked up and saw the rich people dropping offerings in the collection plate. Then he saw a poor widow put in two pennies. He said, “The plain truth is that this widow has given by far the largest offering today. All these others made offerings that they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all!”

 

Pause and Think

What stood out to you?

What captured your attention? 

Usually, this is what God wants you to think about, consider, and focus on.

Don’t rush. If it is one verse or a phrase within a verse, that is okay.

Take a few seconds and ask the Holy Spirit to give you insight into the scriptures

What verse, verses, or phrases stood out to you. Why?

 

 

Let’s read Luke 21:1-4 for a second time and additionally, 2 Corinthians 9:6-12

He looked up and saw the rich dropping their offerings into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow dropping in two tiny coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For all these people have put in gifts out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.”

 

2 Corinthians 9:6-12

The point is this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. Each person should do as he has decided in his heart—not reluctantly or out of compulsion, since God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work. As it is written: He distributed freely;  he gave to the poor; his righteousness endures forever. 

 

Now the one who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will also provide and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for all generosity, which produces thanksgiving to God through us. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.

 

Some Thoughts

Why was Jesus comparing offerings during the week leading up to his death and resurrection? Of all the things he could use, why the widow and her gift?

 

Both the rich and the widow gave something – the differences – motivation and degree. Women in Jesus’ culture would have been vulnerable in general. This widow had no husband to protect and provide for her – she was in a socially and financially weak position.

 

A study of this pointed out that the coins dropping into the collection plate or box would make noise. The more extensive the donation, the more the coins would clang. In contrast, the widow’s mite would make a very faint sound, if any. Jesus challenged the disciples to turn loose of their entrenched religious and cultural ideas that would connect a person’s devotion to their offering. He challenged these same ideas (not tied to an offering) with the blind man (John 9:1-3), the adulterous woman (John 8:6-8), and in so many other places.

 

Yet, the widow gave extravagantly. Her motivation was different.

 

She gave ALL she had to live on. 

 

The widow gave more than all of the rich. The rich gave out of their surplus. Or, as the Message puts it, offerings “that they will never miss.” Their giving was not painful. No sacrifice. No going without.

 

On one level, Jesus challenges us to assess our motivations in stewardship. 

 

How are we managing all that God has given us? How do we view our resources? Yes, money – but other resources like time and talent as well. Paul challenges us in 2 Corinthians 9:6-12 to a different mentality – if we give generously, we will reap generously. The widow seems to be motivated by this mentality. She entrusted to God all she had, and Jesus highlighted her act of faith during the week of his death.

 

Using the widow’s action also seems to point to the cross.

 

Jesus was about to show his disciples and the world what it looks like to give EVERYTHING. On Friday, Jesus would give his entire life over for the rescue and salvation of the world.

 

Jesus would not hold back on the cross.

 

His sacrificial gift would hurt. His gift would be infinitely painful.

 

It would cost everything he had.

 

And as a result, all of us who choose to say yes to his salvation are products of infinite generosity.

 

 

Pray

Now we want to pray back to God what stood out to each of us in a personal way.

What insight, challenge, opportunity, promise, truth, or step to take with Jesus stood out to you?

Take some time right now to personalize and pray back to God what he has shown you in today’s scriptures….

 

Your ‘I Will’

We want to come away from our time with Jesus in the scriptures with an “I will statement”.

What is God inviting us to do? To practice? To surrender?

Remember, we are not saved by what we do…

But our obedience is vital to be fruitful disciples. 

Take some time to pray and write down your “I will statement”.

Then share it with someone you trust and who will encourage you to do what God has said to do.