The Insignificant are Significant to God: letting the widow’s copper coins speak

“As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘Truly I tell you,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.'” (Luke 21:1-4)

The giving of gifts or offerings at the Temple during Jesus’ time was often a public thing. It was a matter of celebration. When Jesus and His disciples visit the Temple in Jerusalem, they observe the rich giving much out of their wealth.

And then a humble widow brings her simple gift, in the form of two lepta. These two lepta are a very small gift, literally 1/100th of a day’s wage, which known as a denarius. By the standards of the day, this woman’s gift is not noteworthy. She is not the MVP of the giving campaign. She is not offering the most valuable gift…at least by one measure.  

But Jesus notices the insignificant gift. Not only does He notice the gift, but He gives special preference and value to her and her gift, adding that she has “put in more than all the others.” Without a doubt, when assessing the value of dollars and cents this woman’s gift was small, if not insignificant, in comparison with others. But even more clearly, by the value of God’s kingdom, this woman’s gift was greater than others.

There is a theme in the gospels that Jesus describes this way, “It is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest” (Luke 9:48). The measures of God’s kingdom are not the measures of this earth.

That is good word for you and me, who often feel afflicted by our own insignificance. We are not insignificant to God. He notices us and cares for us. This is a good word us in another way. At times we see others through the wrong measures of assessment. We assess by worldly measures rather than kingdom measures. God reminds us that when we see others who may seem insignificant by worldly measures, they are not insignificant to God. In fact, the insignificant are significant to God.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s