What Jesus Saw

And he (Jesus) sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box – Mark 12:41

Our image of Jesus is largely formed by Sunday school teachers or media portrayals.  We construct a personality based on our readings or on the personalities of those telling us about Jesus.  We often overlay our cultural ethics onto our view of Jesus.  This approach tends to define Jesus in terms we can understand.

Financial giving in the Temple occurred in a procession and others watched who gave what. The social pressure must have been incredible.  There must have been competitions of holiness in terms of giving.  To give more would have increased your status.  People were watching…Jesus was watching.

To get in this line was to give something.  The Hebrew people were prescribed giving to the Temple.  This was a duty.  The pressure must have been high.  Jesus was watching.  He observes the wealthy put large sums of excess in the box.  He sees them, but then he sees a widow give a little, all she has.  He praises her faith in her poverty.  This is a story about money, but it is also a story about the heart.

Many of us believe we do not have much to give Christ.  We believe we are spiritually poor or that our gifts are not as great and useful as other people’s gift.  I would like to remind you that Jesus is watching.  This should not cause fear or shame.  It should remind us that even when we give from our spiritual, financial, emotional, or physical poverty, he is proud.  Something so small, some little step, changes the world.  He sees you.

Does shame about your spiritual poverty prevent you from giving your whole life to Christ?  In what ways do you hold back from Jesus?  Do you think Jesus would be proud or disappointed in you?  Why?  

Ask a friend for help in this last question. Does your answer reflect your image of Jesus or how Jesus would feel?
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2 Comments


Brian Hays - February 26th, 2024 at 4:17pm

When traveling to Mexico or Honduras on mission to under privileged areas, we observe the giving process is a time of worship and the worshippers generally take their offerings to the front and place them in a basket. The people seem fine giving that way. It appears while poor financially they are rich in spirit. We often wonder why? This may lead to an answer.

Don - February 26th, 2024 at 8:12pm

I have seen this in the US as well. Personally, I get very uncomfortable. Not sure why. There is definitely something to the poor being rich in faith. Also, those who have endured tough situations. I think we need to be in situations where we realize all we need is Jesus. But we don't want to "put" ourselves in those situations.

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