Generosity Out of Abundance

person getting 1 U.S. dollar banknote in wallet

41 And (Jesus) sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.  43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:41-44 ESV)

A parable is a story that Jesus would tell to make a point.  Jesus spoke the parable of the Prodigal Son to teach about forgiveness.  He spoke the parable of the sheep and goats to speak about loving the least.  He spoke the parable of Lost Sheep to encourage our efforts to seek and save the lost.

But this account of the woman placing “everything she had” into the temple treasury is NOT a parable.  This account actually took place!

Can you believe it?  Jesus says that she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on. 

How do we react to this?  What do we make of this woman?  What would we say to this sister in the faith?  Would we ask if she was crazy?  Would we accuse her of testing God to see if He would provide for her?  Would we accuse her of being a poor steward of the resources God placed into her care and keeping?

Or, would we ask her to tell us more of her amazing grace that would move her to such generosity?  We would beg her to show us how to be so trusting and generous.  Would we want to be just like her?

Does God require us to give Him everything?  Yes he does!  I’m not promoting that you empty your bank account and place it all in the offering.  I do believe we should consider the following:

  • Do we manage all we have been given by God in a manner that glorifies Him?
  • Do we simply “contribute out of our abundance” (verse 44), meaning, do we give what we feel we can afford to let go without infringing on our lifestyle?
  • Does our generosity reflect God’s.

We give Thee but Thine own,
Whate’er the gift may be;
All that we have is Thine alone,
A trust, O Lord, from Thee.  Amen.

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