The Widow's Mites

"And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had." Luke 21:1-4

A note in my studio states a profound truth that will take me a lifetime to fully grasp.

It reads “You’ll never know Jesus is ALL you need until Jesus is ALL you have.”

We prize our independence, striving from cradle to the grave to ensure that we are autonomous beings. We make choices based on our own criteria and learn early to manage the consequences of those choices, both good and bad.

When we surrender to Jesus and make Him the Lord of our lives, our allegiance shifts. The Bible tells us that we are now to trust Him, renew our minds and choose His Word to govern our lives. Thus begins our journey of faith.

Unfortunately the worldly baggage of wrong thinking, which ought to be dumped quickly, is sometimes not. Hauling it around proves to be not only cumbersome but a hindrance for God’s perfect will for our lives.

I was mulling all this over when I worked on the polymer clay relief sculpture above. These are some lessons learned from the account of the widow's mites in the Bible.

Offerings Are Expected

Jesus warned His hearers to beware of loud spirituality aimed at winning the praise of men. Seated in a location from where He had a clear view of the temple treasury, He watched as people gave their offerings to God. Some gave much, their coins noisily clattering attracting much attention in stark contrast to the widow's two mites. Giving an offering was to be an act of obedience as well as worship because God’s word commanded it.

"And none shall appear before me empty." Exodus 34:20

The voluntary aspect of the offering consisted in what was offered and how much. That choice was left up to the giver.

The Offering is a Mirror

I realized, while reading this, that the act of presenting an offering to God reflects a whole lot about the one who is making the offering. It is like a mirror to their spiritual state.

  • What was offered?
  • What was left behind that was not offered?
  • How precious was the offering to the worshiper?
  • What was the motivation for the offering?
  • Would the offering be made if no one else was present but God?

The Offering Jesus Commended

The widow gave her all. Some would consider that irresponsible. Yet Jesus marveled! She held nothing back. Her giving was an act of complete surrender and trust in God. I daresay it was a fragrant offering. It demonstrated her acute understanding of the nature of God. He was good and faithful. She knew that He saw what others could not see—her unique circumstances and the intent of her heart.

She understood that her best chances for a future lay in giving her all to God. He alone possessed the power to multiply her offering. No one else cared about, or understood, her helplessness. Only before His eyes was her faith naked and precious; to the casual observer nothing about her, or her offering, merited a second glance.

As I find myself hurled into another year, her quiet commitment inspires me to surrender my all—my thoughts, my actions and most of all my art as an offering to Jesus. Like her two mites, it may not be worth much to most, but I know it is of infinite worth to Him.

He has intimate knowledge of my heart like no one else. He knows yours too. You can entrust your future to Him, just as she did and walk away, not destitute, but rich beyond measure!