25 September 2007

Luke 20:45 - 21:4

"He looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said, 'Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on'". (v.1-4)


Luke wrote this book of the Bible, and he highlights themes of social justice, fair treatment of the poor, women and other oppressed groups. In his writing he tells us about some of the conversations Jesus had with the Jewish religious leaders in Jerusalem.

In this section we hear that Jesus looked around at what he saw about him, and made his message relevant to what was going on.

Jesus sees a poor woman giving two coins, which he says is worth more to God than the many coins put in by the rich men. Why? Jesus answers that question in part by saying the rich men offered only their spare money, but the woman gave everything she had.

Christian teaching calls on Christians to use all our resources to be used to do God's work. This means not being 'hooked' on the status and privilege attached to money, skill and knowledge, but to use them (give them) wisely. Jesus isn't anti-rich people in this passage, he simply points out that the rich people are giving less proportionately than the poor woman. This is unfair.

A study published by the BBC in June 2004 showed that people in the most deprived areas of Britain gave the most generously to charity.

To Ponder

Do you think Jesus was talking just about money or could he have been implying other types of giving too? What might they be?

Are there things in your life which you cling to?

If Jesus were to look around your life to find illustrations of injustice - or illustrations of generous giving, what would he find?

Bible notes author

Alison Parker

Alison Parker worked as the Equalities and Diversity Project Officer for the Methodist Church. She worked to bring together a theology of equalities and diversity, an equal opportunities policy for the Methodist Church, and a resource for local churches to use to support us as we celebrate diversity and seek equality.