Jesus sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.’ (Mark 12.41-44)
The Women’s Court was where the thirteen collecting boxes were located which fed the Treasury. They were shaped like trumpets and maybe this is what Jesus was referring to in Matthew 6.2 when he takes about trumpeting almsgiving! The boxes were designated for diffent kinds of giving. One was for money that would have paid for the offering of a turtledove; one was for the wood for the sacrifices; others were for the golden vessels; others for the Temple tribute, the half shekel, that had to be paid.
It was here that Jesus settled down after entering the Temple. He was doing what I really enjoy doing, watching people. It can be fascinating, just watching what others do. And amongst the many people milling around and putting their money into the ‘trumpets’ he sees an old woman. He knew she was a widow from the way that she was dressed and watching her intently he saw what she gave, two coins, a penny. It was not a great deal but it was for her, everything that she had.
‘Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will act.’ (Psalm 37.5).
It’s easier said than done, to give away all you have and to trust in the Lord. But it looks like this is what the poor widow did. It was everything that she had to give; she held nothing back, she committed herself to the Lord. Jesus is so moved by what he sees that he calls the twelve to him and points out what the woman has done.
Soon Jesus will be asked to give everything, his life, his self and to hold nothing back. He is fully committed to God; a challenge to my own lack of commitment.
in Jesus you have given yourself to me;
may I give myself to you
and hold nothing back.