March 28, 2023
38 As he taught, Jesus said, ‘Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the market-places, 39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets. 40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.’
41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few pence.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.’’
Religion of the Heart
Jesus’ words are a powerful elaboration of “Men look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) The teachers of the law were highly respected by others and held important positions in society, yet Jesus condemned their behavior and correspondingly the state of their hearts. The poor widow gave two coins in comparison to others who gave lots of money, yet Jesus noted and praised her sincere offering.
What would the actions and attitudes of the teachers of the law, the rich people and the poor widow look like in our society today? I believe they would mostly be more subtle, dealing with matters of the heart rather than loud, public actions.
Let us look to Jesus as the best example of how to serve and follow our Lord humbly. Let us make a conscious choice to welcome the Holy Spirit into our lives each morning and allow him to transform our hearts. Let us consider what is truly valued in God’s kingdom, the needs of communities we are in and how we can serve him wholeheartedly with all that he has given us.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for freely giving us salvation and eternal life in Jesus. Thank you for giving us all that we have on this earth. Help me to examine my heart and surrender to you the parts of me that are prideful. Make me sensitive to the needs of others and give me true joy in serving you with all that I am. Amen.