Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Widow's Offering - A Picture Of Jesus Sacrifice

The widow gave her all, Jesus gave his all, how is your giving? 

sacrifice, Easter
Luke 21:1-4 While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. 2 Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins.

3 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. 4 For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.”

Proverbs 11:24 Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.

Philippians 2:3-5 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

There was a lot of giving going on that day in the temple. It was difficult to miss who gave and who didn't give and it was easy to be recognized for how much you gave. The leaders in the temple probably looked on as the donations were made so that they could intimidate the people into giving, they may have known who gave but they didn't know what Jesus knew, he was the only one that knew the attitude of the giver.

Jesus saw the rich and famous and how large their gifts were and then he saw the poorest of the poor and Jesus told his disciples that in God's economy the widow was the best giver in the temple that day. The widow had it right, she didn't dwell on how little that she had, she didn't think about how big her needs were, her happiness, comfort and security were not as important as her humble obedience.

Do you think she knew that the leaders in the temple were going to spend some of the money on themselves? These are the same leaders that were scamming the people with the money changers and the animals in the temple. The fact that they were going to misuse the money didn't stop her from doing what she was supposed to do. She still gave and did so without animosity.

It isn't in scripture but the Religious leaders were probably furious, as closely as they were watching Jesus and analyzing everything he said and did, I bet that they heard what he said about the givers that day.

Research has shown that when your income increases the percentage that is used for charitable contributions tends to drop. Just like the scene in the story of the widow, those that had the most gave the least, we tend to give less the more we are blessed.

The widow's enormous sacrifice reminds me of the sacrifice that Jesus made for me. He sacrificed the riches of heaven, he subjected himself to the woes of the human experience, hunger, sadness, temptation and in a few days he would make the ultimate sacrifice.

Give Like Jesus

Jesus gave until it hurt. He was willing to help the worst of sinners. If anybody had a good reason to not be an excellent giver it would be Jesus, he gave to those that don't deserve it, his generosity and attitude in giving set the standard high for us to follow. We have benefited from his generosity despite the ugliness of our sin.

In order to be like Jesus I must be selfless and humble, willing to be humiliated and suffer for those that don't deserve it, I can not judge them. I must be willing to look out for the needs that are around me and be willing to meet them with the right attitude. I can not help them only when it is convenient or when it doesn't cost too much.

Just before Jesus gives us his all he makes sure that we see what he expects us to give. I will never go broke being generous if I am generous with the right motives. Jesus wants my sacrifice but he only wants it with the right attitude.

I want to be a generous giver Lord, thank you for your generous gift of salvation!