Saturday, October 05, 2013

Giving All You Have: Jesus and the Widow's Offering

God has been so kind to give me a husband who sees Jesus clearly. I am frequently amazed and blessed by Steve's ability to see and apply the gospel--so I would be cheating you if I didn't feature some of his insights during this month's challenge. Bonus for you, he's also much more concise than I am :) He recently shared these thoughts on another familiar Bible story: 

"Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on." (Luke 21:1-4)

How many times has this passage been read with the end result being guilt? "Jesus expects our all, even to the point of giving away our last penny for His work." Since I'm not giving my all right now, how can I feel anything but guilt?

Two observations about the widow:

1) She gives a shocking amount in her worship to God. Just reading the passage slowly makes me go, "You can't do that; you have to be able to eat something! There must be another way to worship God. Don't be so foolish and give up everything you have."

2) In her giving of the gift, she is singled out and praised by the Creator of the Universe. Though she could get no lower in the eyes of man, she was raised up high above all men in the eyes of God.

Where I see Jesus/the Gospel:

1) Jesus gives a shocking amount in his worship of God. He gave up His position at the right hand of God, was a poor, homeless man on earth, and then gave up His very life (to paraphrase verse 4, "He out of His poverty gave up all the blood He had to live on").

2) Even more shocking than this, in Jesus' giving of His gift, *I* am singled out and praised by the Creator of the Universe. Though I should be the lowest in the eyes of God, I am raised up and made an heir with the Gift-Giver. This is like Jesus watching the widow give her gift, then looking at the rich man and saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been made righteous because she gave everything she had." How great an injustice this would seem to be!

Yet this is the shocking, upside-down reality of the gospel. The widow's sacrifice is admirable, and we should certainly aspire to give our all like she did. But we will be most inspired to give sacrificially when we humbly receive the gift of salvation, when we see the generous heart of the One who literally gave all He had so that we could receive His eternal inheritance.

[This post is part of the series "31 Days of Seeing Jesus"--click here for a list of all posts.]

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