Jesus and his disciples were visiting the temple. As Jesus looked up, He
saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor
widow put in two very small copper coins.
JESUS I tell you the truth, this poor
widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out
of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on. A
discussion started about giving among the disciples with Jesus.
Jesus was admiring generous and sacrificial giving. As believers, we should
consider increasing our giving – whether of money, time, or talents – to a point
beyond convenience or safety. Jesus put it this way,
JESUS Freely you have
received, freely give.
MATTHEW Jesus gave us that principle to guide our actions
as we minister to others. Because God has showered us with his blessings, we
should give generously to others of our time, love, and possessions. He also
JESUS But when you give to the needy, do not let your hand know what your
right hand is doing.
MATTHEW Jesus taught us that our motives for giving to God
and to others must be pure. It is easy to give with mixed motives, to do
something for someone if it will benefit us in return. But believers should
avoid all scheming and give for the pleasure of giving and as a response to
God’s love. Jesus made clear the level of giving when He said;
JESUS Foxes have
holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay
his head…. Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.
Jesus it is not always easy or comfortable. Often it means great cost and
sacrifice, with no earthly rewards or security. We may find that following
Christ will costs us popularity, friendships, leisure time, or treasured habits.
But while the cost of following Christ is high, the value of being Christ’s
disciple is even higher. Discipleship is an investment that lasts for eternity
and yields incredible rewards. Again Jesus showed the level of commitment when
JESUS If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to
the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.
Should all believers sell everything they own? No. We are responsible to care
for our own needs and the needs of our families so as not to be a burden on
others. We should, however, be willing to give up anything if God asks us to do
so. This kind of attitude allows nothing to come between us and God and keeps us
from using our God-given wealth selfishly. If you are comforted by the fact that
Christ did not tell all his followers to sell all their possessions, then you
may be too attached to what you have. Jesus put it this way,
JESUS And everyone
who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or
fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal
MATTHEW Jesus assured us that anyone who gives up something valuable for
his sake will be repaid many times over in this life, although not necessarily
in the same form.
We often feel that our contribution to Jesus is meager, but he can use and
multiply whatever we give him, whether it is talent, time, or treasure. It is
when we give them to Jesus’ control that our resources are multiplied. JOHN He
takes whatever we can offer him in time, ability, or resources and multiplies
its effectiveness beyond our wildest expectations. If we take the first step in
making ourself available to God, he will show us how greatly we can be used to
advance the work of his kingdom. Jesus showed us this with the boy and the
We disciples certainly had more resources than the boy, but we knew we didn’t
have enough, so we didn’t give anything at all. The boy gave what little he had,
and it made all the difference. If we offer nothing to God, he will have nothing
In performing his miracles, Jesus usually prefers to work through people and
what we offer.
ANDREW We need to make a special effort to help those who are
Christians and in particular Christian leaders. There are several ways to
encourage those who serve God in his church. First, see that they have an
adequate salary. Second, see that they are supported emotionally; plan a time to
express appreciation for something they have done. Third, lift their spirits
with special surprises from time to time. Our leaders deserve to know we are
giving to them cheerfully and generously.
JESUS Woe to you…, you hypocrites!
You give a tenth of your spices – … But you have neglected the more important
matters of the law – justice, mercy and faithfulness.
MATTHEW It’s possible to
obey the details of the laws but still be disobedient in our general behavior.
For example, we could refuse to give one minute of our time in helping others.
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the
crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Calling his disciples to
him, Jesus said,
JESUS I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into
the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she,
out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.
PETER The value
of our gift is not determined by it’s amount, but by the spirit in which it is
given. A gift given grudgingly or for recognition loses its value. When you
give, remember – gifts of any size are pleasing to God when they are given out
of gratitude and a spirit of generosity.