Observing the Offerings and Widow's Mites.

7-8. OBSERVING THE OFFERINGS AND WIDOW'S MITES.
(In the Temple. Tuesday, April 4, A. D. 30.)
b MARK 12:41-44; c LUKE 21:1-4.

      b 41 And he sat down over against the treasury [It is said that in the court of the women there were cloisters or porticos, and under the shelter of these were placed thirteen chests with trumpet-shaped mouths into which offerings might be dropped. The money cast in was for the benefit of the Temple. An inscription on each chest showed to which one of the thirteen special items of cost or expenditure the contents would be devoted; as, for the purchase of wood, or gold, or frankincense, etc.], and beheld how the multitude cast money into the treasury [We should remember this calm inspection of our Lord when we are about to make an offering to his work. He is by no means indifferent as to our actions]: and many that were rich cast in much.

  c 1 And he looked up, and saw the rich men that were casting their gifts into the treasury.

  b 42 And there came

  c 2 And he saw a certain poor widow casting in thither b and she cast in two mites, which make a farthing. [The lepton or mite was worth one-fifth of a cent. It was a Greek coin, and the kodrantes or farthing was a Roman coin. It is suggested that she might have retained one of the coins, since she had two.]

  43 And he called unto him his disciples [he had found an object-lesson which he wished them to see],

and said unto them, Verily c Of a truth I say unto you, b This poor widow cast in more than all they that are casting into the treasury:

  44 for they {c these} b all did cast in of their superfluity; c unto the gifts; b but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even c all the living that she had. {b all her living.} [We are disposed to measure the value of actions quantitatively rather than qualitatively. Moreover, we are better judges of actions than of motives, and can see the outward conduct much clearer than the inward character. God, therefore, in his word, constantly teaches us that he looks rather upon the inward than the outward. In this case, the value of the woman's gift was measured, not by quantity, but its quality; in quantity it was two mites, in quality it was the gift of all she had. From considering the corrupt character of the Pharisees, Jesus must have turned with pleasure to look upon the beautiful heart of this devout widow.]