Real Christianity January 16, 2022
“And Jesus sat down opposite the treasury and began observing how the multitude were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. And calling His disciples to Him, Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.'” (Mark 12:41-44)
I have always been amazed at the contrast Jesus reveals between many rich Jewish people and a poor Jewish widow as noted in the text above. When it came to giving money into the temple treasury there were many impressive amounts of money given by the rich but there was only one giving that really got Jesus’ attention in a positive way. It was the giving of one cent from a poor widow.
This was a matter of great importance as Jesus brought it up before His disciples. By discussing it with them He taught them that it’s not how much we give that impresses God but rather the heart behind our giving that has His undivided attention. Upon giving His only begotten Son to be the Savior of the world (John 3:16) God knew what it was like to give up everything He had. He knew how to give even when it hurt to do so. The giving of this poor widow was similar to God’s in that she gave up everything she had to live on; all she owned for the pleasure that she received in giving all for God. Her attitude behind her giving was a heart that so wanted to give back to God even if it hurt her to do so. That kind of giving got Jesus’ attention and praise.
In Acts 20:35 the apostle Paul reminds the elders at Ephesus of the words Jesus said concerning giving that it is more blessed to give than to receive. I wonder when Jesus said these words that He had this poor widow in mind. You see Jesus could relate to this poor widow in that He would give everything He had for the world in order to accomplish God’s will. He would give even when it would hurt. Jesus gave His body up to be crucified on the cross for us. I hope all of us can see more than just a cross but a heart behind the cross that clearly says, “I love you enough to die for you; to give up everything for you.”
Real Christianity isn’t showy Christianity where your spirituality is shown off before others (Matthew 6:1-18). God looks at the heart and it’s there that He finds either the genuine, sincere, honest heart of a servant of God or He finds a heart of someone who is more interested in pleasing others and himself than God. Concerning this Paul writes, “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10). He also states, “But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men but God, who examines our hearts” (I Thessalonians 2:4).
Real Christianity is “Heart Christianity” where a heart of gratitude is behind every word and action of the Christian (Colossians 3:17). He/she does not live the Christian life for show but rather to express how thankful their heart is for all that God has and is and will do for them.
As Jesus saw the heart of this poor widow it reminds me that He also sees my heart and yours. Is our heart real and sincere like that of the poor widow? Would He want to tell His disciples about it and use us as an example of the kind of heart He would desire in others?
What is the condition of your spiritual heart?