4th August 2023
Read - Mark 12:41-44
Message Alan Burke
Today we come to a passage that is often referred to as ‘The Widows Mite’. The day before Jesus had had condemned the people for what they had made the temple into and now he commends the sacrifice of a widow who came. This takes place in what was often referred to as the court of women as it was as far as women could go in the temple courts and it was where the treasury of the temple was. Around it there were boxes, thirteen of them with were what were shaped like trumpets on the top, that flared out from the bottom. These were known as alms boxes and where the people placed their free will offering. God himself instituted these offerings to be made (Ex 30:11-16) as a provision for the service in the tent of meeting, this is how the priesthood was funded as well as temple, and the work among the people of the land, and the people gave just as we give our Free Will Offering that supports the church, the more they gave the more could be done and likewise with our giving.
So as Jesus is watching people there are some who were evidently rich who threw large amounts and then there was a widow who threw in but two coins. They were of little value, the least in the currency at the time. Jesus draws our attention to this not to pity her poverty but to show here generosity, this woman who gave was showing the reality unlike the teachers of the law, she was an example of a genuine faith. She was such a contrast to the scribes, such a contrast even to those who gave generously, she was one without honour unlike the teachers of the law and those who had much, yet she was willing to give to God that which was costly to her.
What do we here learn from the windows offering, because Jesus draws our attention to it as an example, well I think it’s this; our giving is not measured by count, but it’s cost, it is not measured by its amount but its portion, not by what is given but by what is kept, not by money but by spirit. So does what you give cost you, is your giving proportionally significant, is it greater than what is kept aside that you have stored away for a rainy day, does your giving show where your heart is? Sadly I have come across individuals in the past who are happy to give nothing or nominal amount a year and demand everything in return and there is a truth our money tells and what truth does it tell about you?
Jesus though talks amore about money than he does about faith and prayer combined, 11 of the 40 parables were about money, he used money to teach spiritual truth, he compared the kingdom of heave to riches, and many other examples, why does Jesus seem to care so much about money? Simply because there is a truth our money tells, the truth it tells is of the reality within. You may not like that comment, but it is true, this lady gave, she gave and it was costly to her, when was the last time for any of us our giving to the work of the church of Christ was costly? We might have all the appearance, but what about the reality, for you know the realty is everything for us. Jesus taught so much about money because For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matt 6:21), there is a truth our money tells, so what does it say about you? Do you give to the work and witness of the church, is your giving like the rich in this passage where it in truth costs you nothing, or does your giving show the spiritual reality of the value you place on what Christ has done for you?
Q9 What is the work of creation?
The work of creation is, God’ s making all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good. (Gen. 1, Heb. 11:3