The 365 Commitment

The Widows Mite

The story goes that Jesus was in Jerusalem, teaching at the Temple, when nearby at the treasury people were coming and going in the act of paying their tribute or tithing to the where the custom was for people to come and offer their sacrifices. Jewish custom was for a storehouse to be established whereby followers could share a portion of their increase or excess with the people. Many of their religious customs, rites of penance, and other events of holy significance were accompanied by sacrifices and many of included tributary to God (aka his Temple). Perhaps as a teaching lesson, as Jesus was apparently good at, he gathered his followers to watch the people in the courtyard by the treasury submitting their offerings.

In ancient Jerusalem, the treasury was setup in such as way that coins could be easily submitted by dropping them into a brass funnel that would then deposit them into a large stone collection box that the priests could retrieve later. I can imagine that the wealthy, or noteworthy people would make quite a show of themselves as the contributed their coins into the treasury. Making sure that people not only saw the act, but heard it as well. The sounds of coins hitting the brass funnel was probably easy to hear over the tumult of the crowds frequent in the Temple area.

As they watched, Jesus had his follower take note of an old woman, whom he called a widow, slowly making her way to the collection area. She put two small mites into the collection funnel and slowly shuffled away. Those two mites, or Roman leptons were each half of the smallest unit of currency in Roman times. Think half of a penny. Jesus indicated that this widow had given more than anyone else because she had given all that she had.

Now, there is certainly great religious significance to this story. However, there is also a deep personal connection as well. I like to think of what was in the widow’s mind? What did she want? Was this just out of shear obligation or did she have some hope in her heart? Jesus did not comment on that. I like to think that she had a great hope, perhaps being reunited with her husband, the safety of her children, or perhaps concern and worry over her own people. Whatever it was, it was a hope and it was for that she was willing to give all that she had.

So that is the question for today. Do you have a hope that you wish to achieve? Are you willing to give all that you have to achieve it? if the answer is no, than maybe you need to question your goal, your motives and perhaps both.

Guy Reams

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