Luke 21:1-4 – The Widow’s Offering


Read: Luke 21:1-4

Relevant Passages:

  • See Mark 21:41-44 for a parallel account.

Extra Info:

  • v. 1 After standing and teaching in the temple courts for a while, Jesus goes and sits where he can watch people put their offerings in the temple treasury container.  On the Temple grounds, in the court of the women, there were thirteen trumpet-shaped metal receptacles where worshipers could place their gifts for the Temple and the Temple tax.  These were gifts freely given in addition to their tithe (10% of their income). Some of the wealthier givers probably made a show of how much they gave.  The disciples are standing around until Jesus draws their attention to what he has noticed.  Right after warning his followers to beware of the teachers of the law who “devour widow’s houses,” Jesus draws their attention to a widow who gave all that she had to the Lord.
  • v. 2 This woman was destitute.  Not only was she poor, but as a widow she had no means of support. The two small copper coins were of little value.
  • v. 3  Jesus compares the widow’s gift, not just to those of the rich, but to all the gifts that were given and considers her gift to be greater.
  • v. 4  Jesus now explains why he considers her gift to be the greatest one:  while others gave out of the abundance that they had over and above their needs, she was in great need and yet she worships her Lord by giving him all that she had.  She puts herself totally in the hands of her Lord.  It takes great faith, love and trust in one’s heart to do that.

Observation:

  1. What was Jesus watching?
  2. What did he see?
  3. What did he say to his disciples?

Interpretation:

  1. Which gift would be the greater amount, a large amount given by a rich person or a couple of pennies given by a poor widow?
  2. Which gift would be the greater gift in terms of a proportion of income or assets?
  3. Which gift would be given with greater trust or faith in God?
  4. Why does it take more faith to give so much that it impacts our needs?

Application:

  1. If Jesus were to use your giving patterns as an example to others, what kind of example would it be:  an example of what not to do, or an example of generous, joyful, faith-filled giving?
  2. Read Philippians 2:5-11. How much did Jesus give up for you to pay for all your sins and rescue you from death?
  3. We can never pay Jesus back for what he has done for us, nor should we try. But, in terms of managing what he has entrusted to us and giving towards the Lord’s work, how would you like to respond to what Jesus has already done for you?

Closing Prayer

 

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