The analysis of the Jesus and Widow Offerings is provided in the synoptic gospels (Mark 12:41-44) in which Jesus Christ is preaching in a sanctum in Jerusalem. This story is often called the widow’s mite story or the widow offering story.
One day, Jesus and his disciples sat near the temple storehouse, watching people deposit money into the altar. The women’s court has 13 such containers where people can invest money when passing by.
The Gospel of Mark points out that the combination of two mites (small Greek ept) is worth a quadrans, which is the smallest Roman coin.
Both the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Luke conveys events involving the gifts given to God by widows.
Here in this article, we are providing you the complete details regarding the gospel of Mark (12: 41-44) and what is the analysis behind the lesson of Jesus and the widow offerings.
What is the Gospel of Mark states about Jesus and Widow Offerings?
41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.
42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.”
44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
Quick read: Why Wave Palm Leaves on Palm Sundays?
What is the Legend behind Jesus and the Widow Offerings?
The story of the widow offerings teaches us a few things. First, God sees what people ignore. The big gift in the temple will be noticed; that maybe what the disciples are watching.
But Jesus saw what others did not do: He saw the humble gift of a poor widow. This is a gift that Jesus deems worthy of comment.
This is a gift that the disciples need to realize. That day, other gifts in the treasury jingled, and they made a lot of noise, but the widow offerings heard in heaven.
Second, God’s evaluation of people is different from people. According to the man’s watch, the two mites of the widow add up to a penny. But Jesus said she paid more than others that day (Mark 12:43).
What happens when “many rich people throw a lot” (Mark 12:41)?
The difference is one of the ratios. The rich paid huge amounts of money, but they still retained their wealth. The widow “invests in everything-everything she must live on” (Mark 12:42).
She was indeed a sacrifice. The rich have not yet begun to sacrifice their interests. Third, God praises faith.
This is a woman who needs charity, but she has dedication. Even though this amount is negligible (what can the widow offerings buy?), she still believes that God can use it. The dedication of the widow is also obvious.
Just as Zarifas’ owl gave her last meal to Elijah (Kings 17: 7-16), the owl in the temple also released her last self-reliance.
Does this mean that the widow has completely lost the temple, returned home, and died of hunger?
The Bible teaches that God meets our needs (Matthew 6: 25–34). We do not know the details of this widow’s future, but she has certainly been raised.
Just as God supported the widow and her son in the time of Elijah (Kings 17: 15-16), God also supported the widow in the time of Jesus.
Interestingly, just before Jesus commented on the widow offerings, he commented on the scribes “swallowing the widow’s house” (Mark 12:40).
Religious officials at the time did not help widows in need but were completely content to rob their livelihoods and legacy.
The system is corrupt, and the greed darkness of the scribes makes the widow’s sacrifice even more dazzling. “God loves happy devotees” (Corinthians 9: 7), and he faithfully takes care of himself.
How the Widow Offerings has pleased the Lord Jesus Christ?
The incident of the widow’s worship in the temple is directly related to the previous paragraph where Jesus condemned the scribes who exploited the widow.
Although the scribes were criticized, the widow was praised. Is it her?
Here Mark shows us that a widow (“poor” may be a better translation than simple “poverty”) is enshrined in the temple.
The rich man showed the big donation well, and the woman gave only a small amount of money-all the possibilities she had. Who gave more?
Jesus argued that the widow paid the most, because the rich only paid from the surplus and therefore did not sacrifice anything to God, and the widow did make a great sacrifice.
She paid “even all her life”, which shows that she may not have money to eat now.
The purpose of this passage seems to be to explain Jesus’ “real” discipleship: willingness to give up everything for God, including even livelihood.
Those who only contributed from their surplus did not sacrifice anything, so God would not think they contributed too much (or not at all).
This incident is not only related to the previous paragraph criticizing scribes.
It is similar to the upcoming scriptures in which a woman dedicate all the anointing of Jesus, which is similar to the discipleship of other women who will be described later.
However, it is worth noting that Jesus never explicitly praised what the widow did. Her donation is indeed more valuable than that of the rich, but he did not think of her as a better person.
After all, her “life” has now been consumed by her dedication to the temple, but in verse 40 he condemned the scribes who devoured the widow’s “house”. What is the difference?
How to preach the message of Jesus and the Widow Offerings?
First, look at the spirit under the body. Jesus is unwilling to quantify the widow’s dedication (relative to other dedication) and play the game of the rich.
Jesus saw a more meaningful analysis under the surface-proportional analysis showed sacrifice, but objective value analysis did not.
Jesus considered all the data, not to dilute the role of large gifts or wealthy gifts, but to give positive values, even special and exemplary values, in widow offerings and similar items.
Quick read: What to Expect from Junior Year of High School?
Second, see the value of sacrifice. The value of sacrifice is a means to help the poor see the true spiritual value in the gift.
Donations are not related to the percentage of the church budget that you support, but to the budget, you use to make room for yourself to let you know how much you belong to God.
The original reason God established “sacrifice” was because it was considered a spiritual thing. As explained by Lord Jesus the meaning of sacrifice as:
“I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matthew 9:13).
Third, public evaluation of sacrifice is a virtue. Jesus is willing to make a public claim against this woman.
He doesn’t know her. He only knew that she had lost her husband and happiness.
Is she cruel? Is she evil? Is she worthy of contempt? It does not affect Jesus’ valuation in any way.
Sacrifice is precious, and dedication to the church as a church is a way to make your hearing a desire for God. This is an objective and open first step to align your desire for power with God’s desire for kindness and relationships.
Fourth, don’t be distracted by a touch of gold. The disciples looked at the treasures given to the temple as if watching a sport. It turns out that after Jesus valued the widow offerings, they replied:
“But look at this wonderful temple! It was not built with things like” two copper coins “.
They missed the spiritual miracle that appeared before them because they can’t see anything deeper than the jewel that built the temple.
Fifth, remember everything will pass. The shiny stones passed. Gold will melt.
The kingdom will fall. The power will shift. Over and over again. Until one day, God will have all the stones, all the gold, all the kingdoms, and all the power.
By then, everyone has their own heart. Everyone has their dedication.
This is why sacrifice is a greater indicator of eternal value-not because Christians are financial masochists, but because it is more like what God has dedicated to us again for us.
Does the Passage described in the Gospel of Mark have a message?
As per the passage in the Gospel of Mark, we can deduce that the behavior of poor widows may not be praised but lamented.
However, this will bypass traditional Christian interpretation and lead to implicit criticism of God.
If we sigh for the widow to have to give everything to the temple, then shouldn’t we lament the faithful Christians who have to give everything to serve God?
In this article, we have tried to shed light on the passage mentioned in the Gospel of Mark, about the Widow offerings, or also called in ancient spiritual texts as widow’s mites. But the message of this passage varies as per different traditions.
For those who dedicate everything, perhaps this passage does not mean praise, but a further condemnation of the rich.
They guide institutions in a way that allows them to lead a good life, and use the rest of society to keep these institutions running-in theory, the institutions that should exist are to help the poor, not to consume the few Resources.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
What did Jesus say about the widow offering?
The Lesson of the widow’s mite or the Widow Offering is presented in the Synoptic Gospels (Mark 12:41-44, Luke 21:1-4), in which Jesus is teaching at the Temple in Jerusalem. The Gospel of Mark specifies that two mites (Greek lepta) are together worth a quadrans, the smallest Roman coin.
What does God say about widows?
A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. But the Lord has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge. Psalm 146:9. The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow.
What is a mite in money?
The original mite, as noted in previous posts, was 2 small copper coins (about a penny). That was the actual worldly monetary value. We can put a value on things that Mites are used to buy such as water, medical procedures, schoolrooms, blankets, etc. But that is just the value the world puts on those items.
What is a mite worth in the Bible?
The Gospel of Mark specifies that two mites (Greek lepta) are together worth a quadrans, the smallest Roman coin. A lepton was the smallest and least valuable coin in circulation in Judea, worth about six minutes of an average daily wage.
What does the Bible say about widows remarrying?
The apostle Paul allowed widows to remarry in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 and encouraged younger widows to remarry in 1 Timothy 5:14. Remarriage after the death of a spouse is allowed by God. Therefore, based on all Biblical instructions on the subject, remarriage after the death of a spouse is permitted by God.
Is widow offering a parable?
The Lesson of the widow’s mite or the Widow’s Offering is presented in the Synoptic Gospels (Mark 12:41-44, Luke 21:1-4), in which Jesus is teaching at the Temple in Jerusalem. The Gospel of Mark specifies that two mites (Greek lepta) are together worth a quadrans, the smallest Roman coin.