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.”
I know a man who has almost no money, no retirement, no savings account, and no ability to work to gain money. I donâ€™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?