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Poor Woman's Gift - Mark 12:41-44

Lesson # Poor Woman's Gift - Mark 12:41-44
Study Material - Poor Woman's Gift - Mark 12:41-44

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Poor Woman's Gift
Mark 12:41-44

41 And [kai] Jesus [Iesous] sat [kathizo] over against [katenanti] the treasury [gazophulakion] , and beheld [theoreo] how [pos] the people [ochlos] cast [ballo] money [chalkos] into [eis] the treasury [gazophulakion] : and [kai] many [polus] that were rich [plousios] cast in [ballo] much [polus] .
42 And [kai] there came [erchomai] a certain [mia] poor [ptochos] widow [chera] , and she threw in [ballo] two [duo] mites [lepton] , which make [ho esti] a farthing [kodrantes] .
43 And [kai] he called [proskaleomai] unto him his [autos] disciples [mathetes] , and saith [lego] unto them [autos] , Verily [amen] I say [lego] unto you [humin] , That [hoti] this [houtos] poor [ptochos] widow [chera] hath cast [ballo] more [pleion] in [ballo] , than all [pas] they which have cast [ballo] into [eis] the treasury [gazophulakion] :
44 For [gar] all [pas] they did cast in [ballo] of [ek] their [autos] abundance [perisseuo] ; but [de] she [houtos] [autos] of [ek] her [autos] want [husteresis] did cast in [ballo] all [pas] that [hosos] she had [echo] , even all [holos] her [autos] living [bios] . KJV-Interlinear

41 And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the multitude were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. 43 And calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, 'Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.' NASB

Luke 21:1-4
1 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. 2 And He saw a certain poor widow putting in two small copper coins. 3 And He said, 'Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; 4 for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on. ' NASB

Along the lines of the Good Samaritan, the principles of charity include two concepts. The first is given here with the poor woman who has very little yet gives to the temple treasury all that she has, and the second concept is given in Ephesians.

Eph. 4:28
28 Let him who steals steal no longer; but rather let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need. NASB

Giving is an expected responsibility of every believer in Christ. Giving both to people who are in need and giving to help in the teaching of the Word of God.

Here the word for treasury means to 'guard.' In the Temple there was a receptacle into which gifts were given and placed in the hands of the priesthood for the support of the priests and for assisting the poor of the land. The priests held the monies for their own use and living, and for providing aid in some formal fashion for the poor.

The woman was described as a 'poor widow.' That means that she was a working woman who made her own living by herself, having lost her husband. She still managed to make ends meet by doing her own day to day labor. She was not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, yet here Jesus describes her meager gift as greater than all the monies given by those who were far richer and who gave more in terms of the quantity and appearance of their gift rather than from their heart.

Now the principle here is simply that giving is not the favorite subject of most people. They know that God is the one and only source for all that they have. They know that God will provide the monies to make a living in whatever form of life style you have been blessed with, and God will provide the monies to make gifts.

The woman was poor yet she made a point of making her gifts.

No matter what you have, great or small, in terms of financial worth, God always makes sure that you have something with which to comply with his expectations. The actual giving is always left up to you.

People make up all kinds of excuses,

'I don't have enough to give today or this month. I'll do it next month, another time, when things get better for me. Someone else can do the giving in my place. The recipients have enough already. They don't need any more. The recipients will only squander it. Look at all the controversy in the news. How do I know what the money will be used for.'

And the excuses continue (though no excuse is ever relevant) only to cover up the true purpose for ones reluctance to give and that is simply selfishness or greed - to keep that which you have and not share it with anyone. Even though it is God who gives it to you in the first place and in so doing tests your charitable attitude towards others and His Word.

As we see, or have seen in our past studies, giving is a result of spiritual growth. One who is advancing to spiritual maturity will want to give from their heart. They will want to support the spread of the gospel and doctrine, because it is a win, win practice for all.

In Solomon's time spiritual growth was at an all time high. The money was so plentiful that silver coins were as common as the pebbles on the road. The Temple was wealthy, and prosperity saturated the nation. In contrast when we studied the book of Zephaniah, as you recall, there were virtually no gifts and offerings, as people did not give. They did not give because their spiritual attitude was in the toilet. Thus the tremendous economic destruction occurred due to their selfishness. They refused to learn, refused to give, so God removed from them that which they wished to keep for themselves. Selfishness breeds destruction for the individual.

Does giving cause prosperity? No. Giving should be a result of spiritual growth. Where God gives much (doctrine, support, and so forth) God expects much (application of doctrine to ones life).

No matter what ones situation is in life there is always something available, be it little or be it great, for compliance with Gods expectations. You just have to recognize it and then follow through in an appropriate manner.

No one who gives will ever suffer for it. Did the woman die then and there? No. Her life went on and she was provided with more income through her labor, whatever it happened to be. God provided her with the employment, or whatever her source of income was. She continued to live and she continued to have a spiritual life. And that life was far greater in her giving her small gift, than all the monies that some rich dude who gives out of his surplus for public attention, or who gives reluctantly.

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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