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author on January 13th, 2010

Last week, Jesus warned us about the celebrities and politicians of our day. We learned how, in contrast, we should lead quiet lives and work with our hands so that we will be dependent on no one (1 Thes. 4:111 Thes. 4:11
English: World English Bible - WEB

11 and that you make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, even as we charged you;

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In Mark 12:41-44Mark 12:41-44
English: World English Bible - WEB

41 Jesus sat down opposite the treasury, and saw how the multitude cast money into the treasury. Many who were rich cast in much. 42 A poor widow came, and she cast in two small brass coins, Literally, lepta . Lepta are very small brass coins worth half a quadrans each, which is a quarter of the copper assarion. Lepta are worth less than 1% of an agricultural worker’s daily wages. which equal a quadrans coin. A quadrans is a coin worth about 1/64 of a denarius. A denarius is about one day’s wages for an agricultural laborer. 43 He called his disciples to himself, and said to them, “Most assuredly I tell you, this poor widow gave more than all those who are giving into the treasury, 44 for they all gave out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, gave all that she had to live on.”

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, Jesus gives us an extreme example of the consequences and rewards which would come from Paul’s advice.

Jesus was observing the people passing by and putting their money into the Temple treasury (Mark 12:41Mark 12:41
English: World English Bible - WEB

41 Jesus sat down opposite the treasury, and saw how the multitude cast money into the treasury. Many who were rich cast in much.

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). While the rich put in large amounts, a poor widow put in all she had: two very small copper coins worth less than a penny (Mark 12:42Mark 12:42
English: World English Bible - WEB

42 A poor widow came, and she cast in two small brass coins, Literally, lepta . Lepta are very small brass coins worth half a quadrans each, which is a quarter of the copper assarion. Lepta are worth less than 1% of an agricultural worker’s daily wages. which equal a quadrans coin. A quadrans is a coin worth about 1/64 of a denarius. A denarius is about one day’s wages for an agricultural laborer.

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This woman, though unnamed, is remembered today for the lesson Jesus taught by her simple act of faith.

“I tell you the truth, 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.” (Mark 12:43-44Mark 12:43-44
English: World English Bible - WEB

43 He called his disciples to himself, and said to them, “Most assuredly I tell you, this poor widow gave more than all those who are giving into the treasury, 44 for they all gave out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, gave all that she had to live on.”

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You may say, “That was dumb. How is she going to eat?” We don’t know what became of this woman. We do know that she placed her trust in God by giving all she had. She clearly believed that God would provide for her, knowing she was faithful. Maybe she recalled the words of the prophet Malachi written over 400 years earlier:

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food for My house. Test Me in this”, says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” (Mal. 3:10Mal. 3:10
English: World English Bible - WEB

10 Bring the whole tithe into the store-house, that there may be food in my house, and test me now in this,” says Yahweh of Armies, “if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough for.

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Those coins likely came from the work of her hands; she probably led a quiet life and was dependent on no one – no one but God. Do we think God gave her a mansion, servants, a Lexus and a huge bank account? No, not in this world. But do we think that she ate, had shelter and clothes, all of which came from the work of her hands and unexpected places? Of this I have no doubt.