Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
I have to be honest, I found myself kind of irked today as I read this passage at the end of Matthew 12. In these words I saw something different than I have seen when I read them before, instead of seeing the beauty of the woman’s gift and the praise that Jesus was heaping on her for giving all that she had, I started thinking about the people who ran the treasury for the church;
“What were they to do when they totaled up the offering for that day and realized that there was not enough to pay the rent?”
Admittedly there are some things going on in the financial department at Bring Love In over here in Ethiopia that likely have something to do with the reason that angle on this passage came to mind…
But seriously, have you ever thought of these verses from that perspective? Have you ever asked what the response should have been from the church leaders who were using that tithe given by the woman to make ends meet?
I have to tell you, after reading these words and putting my bible away, I went about my day in a bit of a huff.
“Ok God” I said. “You say that the poor widow put more into the treasury than all of the others… Prove it. How can so little be just as effective as more would have been?”
I know, I am exposing more than a little of an attitude that needs adjustment, but the heck with pretending it on here, I am going to share the raw with you because its real, and you can do with it what you want. This missionary gig is tough sometimes, especially when it comes to the money department, and we the last thing we want is for you to think we are all buttoned up and perfect when we are really so very far from it.
Anyhow, back to telling my about my messed up day here. I laid it out to God, almost like a challenge to him, and said. “Prove it” Thinking to myself that some sort of crazy miracle donation would come in minutes later.
Then like a loaded dump truck slamming into the sidewall on a freeway, it hit me.
I am not supposed to be the church in this situation, I am the widow who has nothing and has an opportunity to give all that I have and then step back and see what God does with it.
Yes money is extremely tight right now, and yes its almost time to send a wire to cover the costs of the ministry for the next month and we don’t even have enough to do that. But what we learn in this verse is that we (us and you) are supposed to give all that we have, and then stand on the truth that YES, God does know what he is doing, and yes! He will make a way! The power here is not in the finances, but in the miracles that God promises to do with them.
Like closely at the picture above, look at the bottom left you can see a woman carrying two large jugs of water, now I want you to stop for a minute and close your eyes, I want you to try and put yourself in her shoes. What kind of gift could you give after you get back home and make a paltry meal of rice and injera for your three children? Two pennies may seem like a lot to you now right? The beauty of this passage is that we learn that to God that gift of two pennies is the same as if you had given millions!
To God less is more. Two pennies is more than how ever much the rich people could have put in there. The beauty of God’s promise here is that numbers and amounts of resources don’t matter!
Today, instead of praying for more money (God has heard that enough from me already in this season) We are praying that he will take our small gifts, and turn them into something big! He knows all about the needs of the 54 kids in our forever families, He knows all about the 150 families that we have committed to sponsor, He knows all about the increases that we have seen in all of our expenses over here, and He also knows something else that I always seem to forget, He knows that small gifts do the most good!
“Ok God, here you go, we give you all that we have, however small it may be, and we pray that you will use it big!”
If you would like to join us in giving of the resources we have been entrusted with, and then praying together that God will use them in a big way, click here. We would absolutely love to have you along with us, because we know God is doing great things and teaching us a ton through the act of giving.
Bless you for coming along with us on this journey to help widows, orphans and the poorest of the poor families in Ethiopia. We are thankful for you every single day.