What worth is this story?

“He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny.” Mark 12:41-42, NRSV

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12 thoughts on “What worth is this story?

  1. It seems to me that one ‘worth’ of this story is that it warns that if our ‘giving’ doesn’t cost us everything then it’s not worth much in the Lord’s ledger no matter how much it is. That is sobering.

    Also when I read vs 40 it said that ” They rob widows by taking their houses and then say long prayers to make themselves look good”. Maybe the widow in the story had been robbed and that’s why she was poor and the others had spare change to give. So it seems if we rob someone to give to look good we would receive the severe punishment according to vs 40. (rob:”to take something from (someone) by unlawful force or threat of violence; steal from.
    2.to deprive (someone) of some right or something legally due.”)

    1. Debi, been thinking on your post wonder if waste of natural resources by using more than we need would be stealing. How about bankers giving large mortgages that people probably can never pay off. Use of medical facilities, Drs. And Meds not really needed to raise the cost of care for all. I could keep going but enough to give me a chill.

      1. Yes, Sara, I think you are exactly right and your examples bring a real, day to day real world reality to the word ‘stealing’ that we should all think about.

  2. This was the scripture that came to my mind when I read this. 2Corinthians 9: 7 “Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” I wonder if the footnotes for this verse may offer some of the “worth of this story”? Read with me the footnotes: “A giving attitude is more important than the amount given. The person who can give only a small gift shouldn’t be embarrassed. God is concerned about how a person gives from his or her resources (see Mark 12: 41-44). According to that standard, the giving of the Macedonian churches would be difficult to match (8:3). God himself is a cheerful giver. Consider all He has done for us. He is pleased when we who are created in His image give generously and joyfully. Do you have a difficult time letting go of your money? It may reflect ungratefulness to God”. I didn’t read where this widow gave reluctantly or under compulsion. I believe she gave generously. And if I am understanding this correctly, this means she was not ungrateful to God. Would “GRATEFULNESS” be some of the “worth in this story”?

    1. Tammy, I think so. Gratitude shown by the seed that is sown. I think….my opinion. If we have much and we are joyful to give just a little bit…JOYFULLY…not sure that’s what the Lord means. It’s the Sacrificial Giving that moves the hand & heart of God. To sacrifice something as unto the Lord shows Him our gratefulness for what He’s given us.
      Sort of like the story of the Manna in the desert. Those who gathered too much still only had sufficiency. Those who gathered too little only had sufficiency. That there might be equality. Equality in giving might be…I opine….that we give according to what we have and rather than what we have not. God is just. I think the manna story can relate to the giving story, too. Sacrificial giving is what The pleases the Lord.
      Just my thoughts.

    2. Dear me….this story overwhelms me. That woman gave her whole livelihood…guess those poor coins wouldn’t help her anyway. Vs. 43 “So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; vs. 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had. Her whole livelihood.”

  3. I have tried to place myself in a people watching seat at malls, restaurants, stores and watch people throw their money around. I have tried to watch myself with paper or coins in my hand. When I think about Jesus sitting there watching each of us…..what does He see?

    1. “When I think about Jesus sitting there watching each of us…..what does He see?”
      The thought of Jesus watching what we do with our money made me want to go read about the story of the talents in Matthew 25. Looks to me like God was ‘watching’ what different people did with the money He gave them. They must have needed it or He wouldn’t have had to give some amount to them. It says he gave according to their abilities…and He expected that they would not only wisely use it, but gain something to give back in return. They didn’t all get the same amount, but they each got an opportunity to grow in money management. And when one of them didn’t or wouldn’t, He not only stopped the giving, but He called him evil and lazy and took what He had originally given him away and gave it to somebody else who had grown wise in investing. Looks like no entitlements… but that God is watching the accounting ledger.

      1. Interesting from your view point, Debi. I’v been asking my study scriptures a lot of questions recently. I’m amazed how people, books and/or random thoughts begin to answer and make for some changed thinking on issues.

        In this scripture, the first thing that speaks to me is, Jesus watched. He sat across from the action and watched. This says to me He was close enough to see the amounts and He knew them individually because he gave their financial status for all to know.

        You point out how Jesus must want us all to manage and grow in our ability to take the amounts we have and give it growth harmones so we can boost another in growth. In my thinking now money takes on the giving birth and nuture to a child, animal or plant. Our goal is to make certain we give growth life to that which is in our care.

        Thanks for your thought line to give my mind and heart a review. Great time to review as it is a new year with hopefully some new different results in giving and receiving.

  4. WOW, : I have really been giving a lot of thought to our scripture and waste over the last few days. Looks like from Greta’s today blog she must be thinking as well.
    Greta Van Susteren
    34 mins · Edited ·
    This should unglue you. It does unglue me. If your friends and family don’t know this stuff, you need to tell them. All Americans need to wake up to this and not be tolerant of it. It has to stop.
    Not one GOP insider or outsider Presidential candidate nor Democratic Presidential candidate is making government waste – your money – the cornerstone of his or her campaign. They must not give a damn.
    I am absolutely enraged by this (below): 1 billion dollars for putting one immigration form on line and 43 million dollar gas stations in Afghanistan, a 500 million dollar program to train 5-6 rebels in Syria, millions of dollars on empty Federal buildings in USA etc…
    Think about it: if the nation’s finances were in order, we would have many, many, many less problems — including we could fund REAL national security measures (not the TSA which just flunked 95% of the time smuggled weapons through airport security.) If we had a lot of money, there would be no discussion about cutting YOUR social security benefits, current or future….etc.”

  5. Sara in your comment above you said “In this scripture, the first thing that speaks to me is, Jesus watched.”
    I read this scripture this am from Proverbs 15:3 and thought it echoed a loud Amen to that: “The LORD is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.”
    Looks like nothing escapes His attention.

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