How Much Left?

How Much Left?

02 November 2009


41 Jesus went over to the collection box in the Temple and sat and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two pennies. 43 He called his disciples to him and said, “I assure you, this poor widow has given more than all the others have given. 44 For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” (Mark 12:41-44 NLT)

Jesus went into the Temple during the final few days of his ministry, the very week of his arrest and crucifixion, and for a while he just sat and watched people put money into the huge offering chest by the door. The crowds dropped in their money and the rich, the many rich people, put in large amounts. Their gold and silver coins must have jingled and clattered as they poured them from their leather bags into the treasury.

One poor widow shuffled by and shyly dropped in two copper pennies. The coins hardly made a “clink,” and yet the sound of those two little coins still echoes today in this teaching of Jesus. In fact, Jesus called his disciples over to where he sat watching and told them, “This poor widow has given more than all the others, not just more than any of the others, but more than all the others combined. They all gave something and had much left over. She gave everything. She gave it all!”

Jesus is still watching people give. He’s watching us give of our time, our talents, our substance and our hearts. He’s still more interested in what we have left – what we have held back – than the amount we have given.


Father, I want to give myself to you without holding anything back. Sometimes that’s easier than at other times. Sometimes when I feel I’m accomplishing something, or feel my efforts are appreciated, it’s easier. When I’m struggling, or when it seems my own needs are unmet, or when I compare what others give (and what they have left), it’s harder. Help me give what I give to you without comparison, and without holding back. Help me give without thinking about what I have left. Amen.

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