In Mark chapter 12, we are told that as Jesus was sitting near the collection box in the temple watching people give their offerings, he saw a woman drop in two small coins. In verses 43 and 44, he says to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
These verses drive home to us that we all have something to offer the world through Christ, no matter how small we think our contribution may be. Though the woman gave a small amount, because it was such a large part of her income it was much more significant in the eyes of Jesus than the smaller portion that others with greater wealth gave.
Once again this reminds of how Jesus tells us in the Gospels that in the spiritual world the laws are completely different than the customs of the physical world. God and Christ see the motives behind what we do, and the value of the contribution that we make is measured not by the standards of this world but by the condition of our hearts when we make it.
These verses remind me that Jesus, too, gave everything he had for all of us. He laid down his very life to come here to earth and explain to us that if we repent of our sins and ask his forgiveness he can cleanse and purify our souls and return them to the state they were in when we were born. He loves us so intensely that he gave every bit of his being in order to show his love for us.
This story about the poor widow reminds each of us to reconsider how we live our lives in Christ, and to dig deep when it comes to what we can do for Jesus. Can we live up to this standard and give all that we have, just like this widow did? We can begin by asking ourselves how much we can give, and in what ways. It is a great lesson and a measuring stick by which we can examine our own hearts and stretch our love for Christ to try to emulate his endless compassion and mercy for all of us.
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