A HEAVENLY MATH LESSON
As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others.”
In Luke 21, Jesus provides an extraordinary math lesson. While at the temple, Jesus sees a poor widow put in two small copper coins. These two coins, lepta, were the smallest coins in the Roman currency. They were worth about 1/100 of a denarius, or five minutes of labor at minimum wage.
Hers is a minimal gift, at least on the surface. But then Jesus looks at these two coins and says, “This poor widow has put in more than all the others.”
While we might question Jesus’ math, Jesus insists that what he has said is true. Now, he isn’t saying that the others’ contributions are worthless. Instead, he exalts a contribution that otherwise would have been underappreciated. The widow made a great sacrifice in order to give.
Sometimes little gifts cost a great deal more than big gifts do because their cost is in personal sacrifice. Love in action means sacrificing. The more you love someone, the more you’re willing to sacrifice.
Many times we think of an offering we give on Sunday or the time spent with someone as a great sacrifice. Yet we hold back from “giving until it hurts” — the real nature of sacrifice.
The widow gave every cent she had. In heaven’s accounting books, she gave more than anyone. God’s measure had nothing to do with economics and everything to do with love. The more you love God, the more you are willing to sacrifice to the One who gave everything to you. ♦
Lord, I’m prepared to sacrifice …