Sitting with Jesus: The Widow’s Offering
Read: Mark 12:38-44
This is a significant moment in Jesus’ Public Ministry, in Jerusalem. After Jesus’ warning against The Teachers of the Law, He then focuses on private instructions to His Disciples. I had not realised that. I tended to think that that moment came as Jesus sat with His Disciples, in the upper room, celebrating Passover.
It has been very useful for our Bibles to be split into chapters and verses – it makes it a lot easier to work our way around it. However, we can, it we aren’t careful, miss out on some of the connected teaching of Jesus in the Gospels because of that.
So, this morning let’s look at Mark 12:38-40, “The warning against the Teachers of the Law.” And then at Mark 12:41-44, “The Widow’s offering.” Because I do believe that Jesus was wanting to show His Disciples, and us, a comparison.
The Warning Against The Teachers of The Law
(v38a) “As He taught Jesus said, Watch out for the Teachers of the Law.” It’s easy to foundationalise our lives in that which we can be seen. Many of the Teachers of the Law had become like that. Their focus, their fixation, became 3 things. (And, I have to say, it can be for us too).
 Temporal Things
(v38b) “They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces.”
 Religious Things
(v39) “And have the most important seats in the synagogues and places of honour at banquets.”
(v40b) “and for a show make lengthy prayers.”
 Material Things
(v40a) “They devour widows’ houses.”
As Jesus concluded His Public Teaching Ministry in Jerusalem He promises (v 40c), “These men will be punished most severely.”
We need to remember that Widows are very, very important in the eyes of God The Father! To Jesus too. Jesus’ mum, Mary, had been a Widow for many years.
(Exodus 22:22) “Do not take advantage of a widow.”
(Deut 10:18a) “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow.”
(Psalm 146:9) “The Lord watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow.”
(Isaiah 1:17) “Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”
(Psalm 68:5) “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows is God in His Holy Dwelling.”
Jesus moves into The Temple Treasury. An area where there are different designated receptacles for offerings to be received to pay for the upkeep of the ministry. One of them was designated ‘Poor Box’, for charitable works among the community. The Disciples were milling around, possibly having their own conversation together. “Jesus was watching the crowd putting their money into The Temple Treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts (v41).
Can you hear the Disciples saying, “It’s just as well the rich put in their offering, where would we be without them. I suspect that as many givers held their bags with jangling gold coins inside, they felt proud and blessed to be able to do so. They had plenty left for themselves. They had fulfilled the Law, they felt justified!
Perhaps the Disciples noticed the ‘Poor Widow’ (v42a) . Maybe they said, “That’s not going to go very far is it?!” Or maybe, she was so insignificant that they didn’t even see her?!
Jesus saw her! She is significant to Jesus!
We should never, ever, look down on what we can do for Jesus! Comparison can be a Killer, A Thief, A Destroyer.
I don’t think that this widow would have dreamt that what she did 2,000 years ago would still be being talked about today! She thought that she was doing a private matter between herself and God. Jesus, because of who she is, was able to use her worshipful, sacrificial gift as a powerful Teaching Moment, not just for those first century Disciples but for every generation of Disciples since!
(v42) “But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.” They were two mites. Two farthings. In monetary terms worth a quarter of a penny each. But…..
Who Did Jesus See??
 A Poor widow who had a right heart attitude – She Loved God!
She declared that He is worthy of it all! We are not informed about her back story. There are no details given about her history, her biography. No details of how she found herself where she was. We are not told whether there was a battle for the mind that day. There might have been – but that would be preacher’s licence. What we do know….
 She loved God – she had the right heart attitude.
Who did Jesus See??
 A Poor widow who gave all that she had – She Trusted God!
(v43-44) “Calling His Disciples to Him, Jesus said, Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the Treasury than all the others. They gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all that she had to live on.”
She trusted God. The last time I preached, on a Sunday, at the Oasis was on 8th March 2020 – that day the title was, “My Eyes Are On You.” I took as my text 2 Chronicles 16:9a “The eyes of The Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” During that sermon Jeff played, ‘His eye is on the sparrow.’ The poor widow believed that wholeheartedly! She trusted God for her next meal.
What we know about this poor widow.
 She Trusted God – She gave all that she had
Who Did Jesus See?
 A Poor widow who stood before God – She Rested In God!
Jesus didn’t call the widow to Him and say, “Well done, My Father and I will look after you!” What we read (v43a) is that Jesus, “calling His Disciples to Him,” speaks about the widow….. She walks out of the Temple Treasury into the day that’s ahead of her. A walk of Faith and Rest in God. Perhaps this widow had been sat with Jesus, on a hillside, several years ago? I have no proof of this, but what we do know about this poor widow…
 She found her Rest in God – She Stood Before God.
Conclusion: Read: Matthew 6:25-34