After teaching a parable regarding the hypocrisy of the religious leaders, being tested by the Sadducees about the resurrection and an interchange between an expert in the Law who is found to not “be far from the kingdom of God,” Jesus takes time out and sits down. This is one of the few times we see Jesus taking time from his “duties” to sit and just observe and use the teachable moment for his disciples. He chooses his “people watching” space near the Treasury Box. As he observes he notes two categories of people who come to offer their tithe this Passover season and uses this opportunity to teach us all a principle of “heart giving.”
First to capture Jesus’ attention are the experts in the law who come in their long flowing robes and seeking elaborate greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogue and the places of honor at banquets. Jesus says they also devour widow’s property and make a show of long and supposedly devout prayers. Beware of them as their outward show will only earn them a severe punishment.
But then his attention is arrested when as he watches the crowd, one person stands out above the rest. She is a poor widow. How did he notice her? Was it by the way she dressed or was it her age or was it because she was alone indicating she was like Anna of Luke’s gospel with no male husband or heir? As he watches, she approaches the treasury box. It is as if when she reaches this point that she stops and praises God for the gift that will keep on giving. The copper kettle does not ring loud and long but only a pittance of sound is heard from her two small copper coins yet Jesus notes her inner joy. Her small token will provide so much for service to others as it came from the heart. In her giving she is demonstrating that she trusts God for her daily provision from His hand. Note Jesus said she gave out of her poverty and gave from the very livelihood on which to subsist. Others may have taken this opportunity to chide her saying why not keep one to provide for your needs? Ah, but she might answer, this what I desire to do for Him—from my heart. He will care for my daily needs.
The teachable moment for us is that her gift kept on giving for even today we read of this and marvel. When we give is it from the heart so that only the eyes of Jesus see? Do we offer praise for the small gifts that are given from the heart?