the weblog of Alan Knox

A modern widow’s mite?

Posted by on Jan 20, 2011 in blog links, love, service | 6 comments

A modern widow’s mite?

Jesus praised a widow who put her last pennies into a collection that would be used to care for the poor.

He praised her. She had no way to care for herself, and he praised her.

He didn’t praise the people who put in hundreds and thousands of dollars. He praised the widow who gave pennies and could no longer care for herself.

Don’t believe me? It’s right here:

And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 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. 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)

Notice that Jesus praised the widow because she gave “everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Now, Sol at “Looking for Church” has brought this passage into the present with his post “What did I Give.”

Sol writes:

I know a man who has almost no money, no retirement, no savings account, and no ability to work to gain money. I don’t want to get into how I was able to help this man, but it involved buying him something. As I was leaving his apartment, he wanted to pay back part of the money now, and the rest in two weeks.

As he insisted, I told him to give the money to someone who needs it, and he then told me that he does that. What!?! I thought. You already do?

This man, knowing that he has no money, knowing he is about to part with his savings, and would need to save more to pay the rest in two weeks, was already doing it!?!

He told me that just yesterday, already knowing he needed to pay this money, while he was out getting some food, saw a homeless man and bought him lunch.

Wait… I thought Jesus’ statements (like in the passage above) were hyperbole? You mean we are actually supposed to give to people even when it means we do without?


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 1-20-2011

    All he bought the homeless man was two tacos from Taco Bueno. Sounds a lot like two mites. There was an eerie feeling as I remembered the poor widow in scripture.

    I’d always thought I was a pretty good steward of what God has given me, but now I’ve been forced to seriously reconsider.

  2. 1-20-2011


    I’ve found that “reconsidering” has become a constant in my life. 🙂


  3. 1-20-2011

    Good word, brother Alan!

    The Lord has been gently leading me in this regard recently, as my wife and I work through some difficult financial times. We are learning to walk in our faith in regards to our material supply, and although it is part of my general makeup to give to others, sometimes things want to change when a squeeze is applied! I have lately slacked off on a monthly gift I was giving, because my own supply was so tight, and last month felt maybe I needed to not slack off. The Lord spoke to me then through either a scripture or blog post, I forget now which, and He spoke to me again through this post, so thank you! I am continually amazed how gentle and patient He is with us as we learn to walk in Him.


  4. 1-20-2011


    I think we need to hear more of these kinds of posts – that is, more of Sol’s kind of posts. Maybe you can write about what God has been teaching you in this area.


  5. 1-20-2011


    I hope to soon. In a nutshell I am learning that every aspect of my life must be lived in faith in Him. I have realized how self-serving my motivations have been in the past, when I honestly thought I was seeking after His kingdom and His will. In reality, I was seeking His kingdom, but was trying to build it myself, and then take the credit (at least internally). I realize more and more the humility of Christ, and how humble I must be to walk with and in Him. It has been a great 2 months as I’ve stepped out on this journey, and I definitely need to start chronicling it.

    God bless you, Alan! I love your heart, and I love your posts.


  6. 1-23-2011


    Good! I’m looking forward to it.



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