“Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, ‘Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’ ”Luke 21:1-4 ESV
One would think that giving more in quantity would actually be giving more of an offering. As always, Jesus had to break the standard view people held onto. The story of the widow in Luke is an example of that. Normally Luke 21:1-4 is discussed in reference to tithing and giving to the church. There is definite value in this interpretation, but the story goes so much deeper than that. This biblical passage is about sacrificing out of our weakness.
Often times, God asks to do things that are not easy for us. I say “for us” because what is not easy for one person may be completely manageable for another. I also say “for us” because people carry personal wounds and issues that are by no means identical to another’s. God may call two students to Eastern University, and one may have that language requirement come easily to them and the other may not. God may start revealing wounds and bringing healing to a student who was not even aware that they harbored such deep cuts. What God wants from us is not always easy to give Him. It can result in worry, guilt, brooding, tears, pain, and sleepless nights. Then when we give Him what He asked for in the midst of these, we think it’s not as valuable of a sacrifice. The thoughts, “I’m not as good at this class as so-and-so”, “I don’t have as much faith as so-and-so” pass through our minds. We adopt such thoughts as truth and become downcast.
What we don’t realize is, is that Jesus recognizes when things are not easy for us. He knows us inside and out. When God asks you to do something and you have a hard time giving Him what He asked, He’s not surprised. In fact, because He knows the poverty of your situation, He honors what you give Him. The widow in Luke gave more than everyone else because what she gave was more difficult for her to give. What the widow put in the offering was truly a sacrifice.