‘And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”’ (Mark 12:42-44)
In the Old Testament, there were clear rules about the ‘taxes’ people were to pay for the maintenance of the priests and the temple service. But people could also make voluntary donations. The Bible verses from Mark 12 are probably about such a voluntary donation.
Mark records how Jesus “sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box”. He and his disciples saw how some rich people put in large sums of money — apparently this was clearly visible to everybody present. Then a poor widow came. She brought two small coins, that were not even enough for one meal.
In comparison to the “large sums” of the rich, this donation hardly counted. But Jesus made clear to his disciples that God sees things differently. Jesus knew this woman. He knew that she had given away everything she had! Therefore He said that this poor widow had put in more than all the others.
God is not interested in our money in the first place. He is interested in our attitude. He is interested in a loving and generous heart. “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)
Do you understand why the widow’s gift was more valuable to God than the enormous gifts of the rich?