She Gave All She Had

by Dody Gibson

It had been a long day of teaching, performing miracles, answering questions of the Jewish leaders; offending some and instructing through at least three parables. It was late and for that reason, perhaps, Jesus sat down. Near by was the treasury which was located in the women's court of the temple. There were thirteen receptacles, made of bronze and shaped like inverted trumpets to receive the offerings of those who passed by.

The apostles were present. They and Jesus watched as those wishing to contribute walked by. There were rich men who cast in large sums, perhaps even as those whom Jesus condemned, sounding a trumpet before them, so that their extravagant giving not go unnoticed.

Bye and bye there came a woman who cast in two very small coins, two mites or lepta which were equal to a farthing. These roughly made tiny bronze coins, the monetary unit used by the common people, have as a total value about three-eights of a cent. There must have been a marked contrast between the almost inaudible sound of these two small coins as they fell into the treasure depository and the metallic crashing noise of large amounts of gold coins ricocheting from side to side, the clatter reverberating through the halls of the temple.

Jesus observed everything and nothing went unnoticed. He knew that this was a widow woman, one of the poorest classifications in that society. Jesus knew that this was all the money she possessed. Though it would only buy a pomegranate, there would have been many places she could have used it to fill her many needs. I am sure there is much more to this story. I would like to think that the Lord extended His generosity to her that day.

There is an incredible end to this story. This incident took place on Tuesday, the last day of Jesus public teaching. Only two days later thirty pieces of silver were removed from this treasury by the chief priests and captains. Luke 22:3-5 The captains were those who guarded the great wealth of the temple. The money was placed into the hands of Judas, one of the twelve. Jesus knew He would be betrayed. He knew it would be Judas. John 13:18,21

Jesus knew of the prophesy concerning the thirty pieces of silver. Zach.11:12-13 Matt.27:9 He knew this transaction would take place two days later, the evening of the Passover meal with His disciples. John 13:27

We, who do not understand all things, wonder how Jesus could praise this woman for her contribution at a time when it would be used for such a terrible crime against His person. In our finite, mortal mind of reasoning, we would have said, "Don't throw away all your living on this unthinkable cause. This money will be used in a most horrible way. Take it with you and buy something to eat or save it for tomorrow." But this was not the issue. The point being made and the lesson to be remembered was contrasting her great unselfishness with the greed of the very wealthy Jewish leaders.

We wonder did she live long enough to understand all these truths recorded in the New Testament? Did she know the Jesus that she had just passed by? Did she go home hungry? Was tomorrow a better day for her? We do know that she went away with a good feeling in her heart that she had done all she could with the sparse amount she had to give.

Jesus had said that in her extreme poverty she had given more than all the rest together. Yet just three days later He gave more that she. He died that all the world have the opportunity to have our sins removed forever, even those who paid the ransom money, the one who took it and betrayed Him and the ones who put Him on the cross. It remains a choice for every soul that lives on this earth.

I am sure, even as this poor unnamed widow woman did, that we question many things in this imperfect world. Corruption, greed or evil, does not excuse us from carrying out the Lord's commandments. God will take care of everything for there is a great day of reckoning coming. The books will be opened and the heavenly accounts will be tallied for each of us. For where our treasure is, there will be our heart also. Matt.6:21

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Dody Gibson See other articles by Dody Gibson