“And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.”” Mark 12:41-44, NAS95.
This chapter is full of drama. Challenged on every side, Jesus reveals his brilliance, displays His wisdom, and commends those who are getting the essence of the Kingdom life. When He finishes these tests of wit, He sits down by the offering box and examines the habits of the givers. In this, He discovers such an outstanding example, He calls His disciples to teach them the lesson.
We all know and love this little story of extravagant giving. Though we would all love to rise in our minds to this level of faith and generosity, I think He wanted His disciples to see some other things as well.
First, He did want to emphasize the gospel in its fullness. Complete trust; complete abandonment to God's provision; complete generosity; and complete sacrifice are all illustrated in her actions.
Second, He wanted them to see the contrast of the gospel. It is not lived out of surplus, but lived out of grace. The disciples were learning to give from lack, to give from a servant's heart, and to give from trust that God is providing. The others were doing what they were able. Jesus wanted them to see what it looks like to go outside the comfort zone to what they are not able to do.
Lastly, Jesus finally had an example to point to regarding the life of faith. Though the disciples had walked with Jesus, they had not abandoned themselves to complete trust. They were still dabblers at this point. Jesus shined the light on what their lives were supposed to really look like.
That leaves us with an important question. Can Jesus point to us and call us out as an example of the abandoned life, or are we like the many others living our faith from our abundance. When was the last time, Jesus could use us as an example for others disciples to understand what it means to really follow Him?
This is our goal. We don't have to work up to it. We can simply choose to follow Him radically today in every way. Let's be radical lovers, radical givers, and radical servants of others. Maybe we will be called upon to be the example for another generation of disciples.
Have a wonderful day.