READ Luke 21:1-4
And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” (Luke 21:3-4)
Turning to His disciples, Jesus tells them that this very poor widow has given more than the rich. Jesus, the Messiah, exalts the seemingly invisible woman, and honors her gift as extravagant. Though she did not give an abundant amount, she gave everything she had. And she did not give out of her surplus; she gave of her very life.
This unassuming moment in the temple courts is a poignant moment in redemptive history. In His constant way of turning the world on its head, Jesus raises up the lowly and dismisses the highly esteemed. He praises a widow who offers two coins and makes little note of the wealthy who gave of their excess.
Look back at yesterday’s study. What does the Greek word πενιχρὰν mean?
What did the two coins she offered represent? Or, how much were they worth to the woman who gave them?
In this simple narrative, the Son of God exalts a woman who gave of her very life just before He will give of His.
Let the reality of this call sink into your heart this morning: in a stunningly simple narrative, Jesus calls us to follow Him. By extolling the widow in poverty who gave of her livelihood He invites His disciples – and us – to join Him in the upside-down way of the kingdom of God.
You’ll hear me use this phrase “the upside-down way of the kingdom of God” often, because I haven’t come up with a better way of describing it. We are going to see throughout Jesus’ teaching that He is consistently turning the expectations of the world upside down. He will describe the kingdoms of this world and teach about how the reverse is true in God’s kingdom. We will see the poor esteemed and the highly regarded brought low; we will see the religious leaders accused of being spiritually bankrupt and the repentant sinner brought into the fold of God. Everything this world and this earthly kingdom has taught us to expect will be turned upside down, and all of it will be just as Jesus said it would be.
Spend some time considering the poor widow and her two coins – and Jesus’ praise of her giving. Thank God that He turns the world’s expectations on its head. Ask Him for the courage and confidence to give of your very life – like the widow, like Jesus.