“And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent.” Mark 12:42, NASB
I picture her as an elderly woman, gray-haired and hunched over, walking with a cane. But for all we know, she could have been young and beautiful. Scripture doesn’t say…
Because it doesn’t matter.
This account of the widow’s mite emphasizes the beauty in her heart: her love for the Lord. Undoubtedly she was generous beyond measure, but her love for God produced that generosity. Love compelled her to give. Withholding nothing, she dropped her last cent into the offering box. She didn’t give because she expected anything in return. She didn’t donate money because she knew she’d receive biblical mention. She placed her last two coins in the treasury because she loved the LORD with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Isn’t that what God desires from each of us?
Jesus had just clarified God’s greatest commandment to one of the scribes. He said, “AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH. The second is this, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).
Jesus followed this teaching with truth about His identity as the Messiah, which the scribes failed to embrace (see HERE). Instead of loving Christ, they loved themselves, evidenced by their pride and greed.
Then Jesus sat down and observed people giving money. After witnessing “many rich people … putting in large sums” (vs. 41), His attention rested on the widow. And He declared that her two coins surpassed all the other offerings because she gave everything.
God doesn’t need our money or our stuff—it belongs to Him already. He yearns for much more. In fact, He commands our love. We might balk at that truth or resist God’s authority in expressing it. Yet when we consider God’s love for us, how can we not love Him in return?
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“We love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19