While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, "Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely."As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury.
He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.
"I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others.
All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth;
but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on." Luke 20:45-21:4
And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.
Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.
For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.
And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will. 2 Corinthians 8:1-5
- What was the warning that Jesus gave about the teachers of the law?
- Describe what he saw at the temple.
- Which offering do you think the religious leaders, the teachers of the law and the people standing around would think was more important - the rich or the poor widow's
- Which did Jesus point out as showing more faith?
- What about the Church in Macedonia...what were they recognized for by Paul?
- Which is more important - how much we give or how much faith and trust in God we have when we give it?
- What can we learn from the widow and the church in Macedonia?
The Bible says that "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7. God saw what it cost the rich to give to Him and what it cost the poor widow. He saw the level of trust that went behind each gift and He was more pleased with the widow's offering. But do we do the same when we look at those around us? Do we think highly of the celebrities of the world, the rich, the famous, the powerful yet turn away from the poor, the orphans, the widows? Who do we think about, pray for and admire? Our desire should be to see with God's eyes.
Father God, help us to have your eyes...to see those around us for who they are on the inside and for their worth to You. Help us to give every bit of ourselves to you, no matter what it costs, knowing that You will take care of us. We love You Lord Jesus.
Poem: In the Bleak Mid-Winter (last verse)
What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.
Song to Listen to: My Father's Eyes
Here is the link: My Father's Eyes
For Further Study:
There are many children throughout the world who are very bold in their faith in Christ, especially in nations where it is hard to be a Christian. Sharing their stories can encourage a bolder faith in your children. A wonderful resource is Kids of Courage
* Some of the content of this blog is based on the book Family Celebrations at Easter by Ann Hibbard.*