THE WIDOWS MITE
1 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.
I. The common story – giving all you have!
A. She gave despite her great poverty.
B. Her giving acknowledged that all she had belonged to God.
C. There is no indication here or in Mark’s account that she had any reservations about giving it all.
D. All that you have belongs to God, what you keep is still His.
E. This passage is often used to encourage giving
II Corinthians 9:7-10
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: 9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. 10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;).
II. The story behind the story
Then certain of the scribes answering said, Master, thou hast well said. 40 And after that they durst not ask him any question at all.41 And he said unto them, How say they that Christ is David’s son?42 And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,43 Till I make thine enemies thy footstool.44 David therefore calleth him Lord, how is he then his son?45 Then in the audience of all the people he said unto his disciples,46 Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts;47 Which devour widows’ houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation
A. False piety of the false spiritual leaders.
B. Put a false religion on display for all to see.
C. Pride ruled in their hearts.
D. Neglected ministry to those in need. Rather than minister to her, they looked down at her.
My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. 2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; 3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? 5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? 6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? 7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? 8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: 9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. 10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. 14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
E. The widow became a prey for their wealth.
Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.