As the Passion Week rolls on, we find ourselves at what has been called Tuesday. Because of the difference in Jewish, Roman, and even our calendars today, being sure that the days of Passion Week line up today as they did back then is difficult. The Gospels of the New Testament are also not written in a chronological manner, so this makes placing certain events on certain days even more trickier.
Even with all of the difficulties at hand, it is believed that the first “Holy Tuesday” was a busy one for Jesus Christ. Tuesdays have always been interesting to me. You are over everything from the weekend, but not close enough to the next weekend to really count. It is believed that this Tuesday so many years ago held many confrontations with the religious leaders of the day (the Pharisees and Sadducees) over various topics for Jesus.
While those are important, there is yet another event that is attributed to that Tuesday that stands out like a flashing neon sign. It is found in both Mark and Luke’s Gospels. I would point to Mark’s account here.
Sitting across from the temple treasury, he watched how the crowd dropped money into the treasury. Many rich people were putting in large sums. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two tiny coins worth very little. Summoning his disciples, he said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. For they all gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had — all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:41-44 CSB)
Jesus is sitting by watching people come and go as they bring their monetary offerings to God. This is a practice that is still done some twenty centuries later. The time of giving is a time of worship and devotion as one brings a portion of what the Lord has given to them for the use of Kingdom work.
Jesus notices those who were considered “well off”. These are the ones that did not have to worry so much about how to pay the bills or where the next meal was coming from and so forth. Jesus never condemns their giving, but He did make an interesting observation. He noticed that as the large sums of coins were placed into coffers there was a notice that was sought. It could have very well been that these people had deliberately brought many coins to be noticed as they “gave unto the Lord.” I can almost see Jesus sitting there just shaking His head.
But then a “poor widow” came to give, and everything changed. Jesus did not let this moment escape with teaching His disciples the principle here. I can see Him rise to His feet and even point towards the widow (I know, pointing isn’t polite, but it’s Jesus…so). He makes the statement to His disciples that this poor widow has given “all that she had to live on.”
God does not need our money. The truth is it all belongs to Him anyway (Deuteronomy 10:14; Psalm 24:1). God gives us an opportunity to express our faith and trust in Him by giving to Him. We see this poor widow teaching all who would take notice a great lesson: It is not about the amount you give; it is the faith attached to it that matters.
Widows during this time period were seen as some of the most needy people in the world. They were at the mercy of family members and friends to care for them. This woman had a faith in God that moved her to action. She understood that all that she had belonged to the Lord and came from Him. She used this moment to express her dependence upon God… and God took notice. God has this way of seeing what no one else can (or wants to).
As we proceed through this Passion Week, what is the motivation behind what you do for the Lord? Is it to be seen (by Him and others) or is simply a way to say ‘thank you’ for what He has done for you?