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. 4:11).
In Mark 12:41-44, 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 12:41). 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 12:42).
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 12:43-44)
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. 3:10)
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.