Luke 21:1-4: Giving that costs.(please click for passage)

‘We note the difference between the false teachers, who devoured widows’ houses, and the true Leader and Teacher, who set so high a value on a widow’s gift. Our gifts to God should cost us something, else they are not reckoned in the accounts of eternity. The real value of a gift is to be estimated by what is left behind. Remember that the fragrance and beauty of this act have lasted, while the stones of the Temple have crumbled to dust. Holy deeds are imperishable! Jesus is still sitting by the treasury, watching and estimating our gifts.’ F.B. Meyer: ‘Devotional Commentary’, p.449.

Does this story raise the possibility that in devouring widow’s houses, the clerics of the day were crushing those likely to be among the best givers to the temple?

Giving that costs nothing is missing a heart. Jesus sees the gift, the giver, AND the inside of the one giving. Someone said that when God measures our service He doesn’t just ‘count’, He ‘weighs’.  It’s been said that it is enough that Jesus sees what we give in secret and He will reward openly.

The two coins the woman contributed were the smallest possible – worth about five minutes labour at minimum wage. At least on the surface it was a minimal gift.

What love this dear lady showed; and what faith. Her trust must have been in God to take care of her needs. It was a notable act of sacrifice:

‘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!’ The Message.

‘Jesus’ point is not so much to rebuke others’ contributions as to exalt a contribution that otherwise would have been under appreciated. Sometimes little gifts cost a great deal more than big gifts do, and their merit is in the sacrifice they represent. In fact, real giving happens when one gives sacrificially. Interestingly, research has shown that when people’s income increases their proportion of charitable contributions tends to drop. We tend to give less the more we are blessed. How would Jesus assess this trend?’ The IVP New Testament Commentary.

Prayer: Enlarge my heart Lord so that I live generously.