Guest post today courtesy of Mo Morrison, Her blog appears biweekly at http://shakethetree.info/blog.
The widow of Jesus’ day occupies a very different place in society from the religious bureaucracy. She represents the under-privileged, one of the least fortunate among God’s people. Throughout the Bible she’s placed alongside the fatherless, the orphan, and the immigrant who owns no property. Counted among the poorest of the people, we often see her weeping, grieving, desolate and in debt. The widow’s tragedy is such that with no partner to defend her rights or provide for her needs, she’s vulnerable.
As recorded in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is sitting across from the treasury watching people as they pass-by, putting their money into the offering-box. He observes the many who are rich putting in a lot of money, and He also sees a poor widow who tosses in a couple of coins. Jesus gathers His disciples close and says to them, “I tell you that this poor widow put more in the offering box than all the others. For the others put in what they had to spare of their riches; but she, poor as she is, put in all she had – she gave all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:43-44, GNT)
The widow offers up two small copper coins that scarcely make a penny, but what seems insignificant in the eyes of men, Jesus sees as extravagant. Jesus is notably impressed by this widow’s offering. Where many have deep pockets and give out of their excess, offering up what they’ll barely miss, she gives from empty pockets and out of her lack, gives her all. And though counted among the least in her society, it’s evident that Jesus counts her among the highly esteemed in His Kingdom.
In this sacrificial offering of a poverty-stricken widow, Jesus points out to His disciples a true and living expression of the heart and spirit of God’s law. Ultimately, His goal is to lead me to the place where He is free, to help Himself, to my whole life.
In this day and age, time is our most precious commodity. As we navigate the busyness of our daily lives, walking in the light of Jesus’ command to “Love your neighbour as yourself,” Jesus wants to know He can bank on us to stop and help someone in need.
Jesus wants to count on me putting my schedule on hold should He bring someone in a vulnerable situation across my path. He wants to depend on my putting another’s distress ahead of the time constraints of my own day. If it’s going to slow me down and cost me valuable time, can Jesus trust me to preserve the dignity of another living soul?
To the glory of God where no one else sees, praises or can even repay, am I willing to lend a helping hand and boost the family in their stalled vehicle I noticed in the parking-lot, where I just stopped to pickup my dry-cleaning but they’ve come to a grinding halt on a scorching hot day? Am I willing to lend an attentive ear to the elderly lady in the laundry room as she opens up to unburden her soul and pour out her sorrow, when my laundry is done and I’m ready to exit stage left? Am I willing to take the young single mother grocery shopping on a Saturday afternoon to save her time maneuvering on the bus with her little ones, when I have a gazillion other things to get done on my day off?
Indeed, in this day and age time is our most precious commodity. Yet, with the promise of all eternity, our stretch of time here is like the widow’s drop in the bucket. We are free to spend ours helping others move forward.
May we be found true and living expressions of the heart and spirit of God’s law, fulfilling its original intent. For the whole Law is summed up in one commandment, “Love your neighbour as you love yourself.” (Galatians 5:14, GNT)