questioning Jesus, Mark 12, the widow‘s answer to Jesus’ question

3 Sep

This is Jesus’ final week. In the temple. With his disciples. With peoples. In Jerusalem. And alone, alone with himself.

He is sitting. And, in all probability, he has finished his day of temple instructions,

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. 43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

Jesus is sitting. He chooses a place to rest that is opposite where people place their offerings, the temple treasury. Why here?

Jesus’ week of temple teaching is ending. In the coming and very near next week, he will be crucified.

Knowing this, Jesus last earthly moments in his Father’s house must have many resonates for him.

When he was a baby, he was dedicated by Mary and Joesph here. Anna prophesies and Simon prayers over Jesus. Mary had to have told Jesus about these moments. As a young boy, he stayed over in one of his family’s yearly trips to Jerusalem days and nights teaching in the temple. This week, the days before his death, he instructs the crowd and law teachers; elders and Pharisees; Sadducees and priests; disciples and haters, with all his heart, all his love.

He holds back nothing and he gives to everyone. Exhausted he sits. And he sits where he can watch his worship. He sees offerings of worship.

Some offerings are presented to God in order to confess guilt and to ask for forgiveness of sins (Lev 4:1—6:7; 6:24-30; 7:1-6; 8:14-17; 16:3-22). Other offerings are presented as a way of worshiping God, giving thanks to God, and showing commitment to God (Lev 1–3; 6:8-23; 7:11-34).

Offerings can come in the form of food or coin. Song or word. In his home, all gifts are welcomed, are good.

A widow’s gift gives deeply to Jesus in his home. Anna was such a widow. She gave her gift of prophecy at his birth. It was all she had, all that was given to her.

Now, another widow gives her coin mite. Verses 43 and 44 tells us, quotes Jesus’ description of this widow’s gift as ‘all’,

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

The word ‘all’ is used three times in these verses. Jesus sees her as giving all and it touches him, resonates with him deeply. Soon he will give all. He will give his flesh, his blood. Pain and torture. His life.

Her gift calls to Jesus’ heart and mind the gift he will soon give. And it is a gift for all. Out of his earthly shell, he gives his spirit, his heavenly spirit.

He gives all.

The New Living Translation Luke 21, has the same basic translation as the NIV of Mark 12, except with one acute emphasis,

her mite

The Widow’s Offering

21: 3 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. 4 For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.”

As Jesus experiences his last moments in the temple, he shares with them truth’ – not a truth, but the truth,- of all his teachings and questions. This is worship, this is truth: give all.

Love him with all our hearts, minds, soul.

In answer to this essential question, how much should I give, forgive, love? Jesus says in these last temple moments to his disciples, give all.

Give all.

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