poor or rich?
Read Matthew 6:19-21. What kinds of riches are contrasted in this passage? What makes these riches distinct from each other?
How do you determine what makes a person truly poor or rich? What might be your “all” that you would offer to God—like the widow?
For the last several years, home prices have plummeted in different countries around the world. Russian billionaire Yuri Milner (who made much of his money investing in Groupon and Facebook), however, recently paid the highest price on record for any family home. Milner plopped down $100 million for a 25,500 square foot home in California’s Silicon Valley. The home boasts two pools—one indoor, one outdoor. It has only 5 bedrooms, but 9 bathrooms. The wildest part of this story is that Milner said he has no plans to actually move his family into the house. What Milner is going to do with his mansion is anybody’s guess.
That kind of wealth sits far outside my comprehension—perhaps yours too. Jesus described another kind of wealth that also stretches our understanding. He “sat down near the collection box in the temple” and—having a front row seat—watched the worshipers file by and drop their money into the container. “Many rich people put in large amounts,” Mark recounts (Mark 12:41). But then, when a “poor widow” who had been waiting in line, reached the receptacle, she (timidly, I’m sure) dropped in her “two small coins” (Mark 12:42). Mark presents an obvious contrast: the wealthy with their substantial gifts and the widow with her gift that didn’t amount to much.
But Jesus gathered His disciples and offered a stunning observation. “This poor widow has given more than all the others” (Mark 12:43). The disciples must have been dumbfounded: Has Jesus lost His mind or only His ability to count? “[The others] gave a tiny part of their surplus,” Jesus explained, “but [the widow] . . . has given everything she had to live on” (Mark 12:44).
The woman was poor in money, but she was rich in love for God and rich in obedience to Him. And Jesus took notice.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Luke 12:1-21
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