Big idea: Stewardship is judged on what you have left, what you sacrifice for God, and the worship of it, but not what you give.
21:1. In the temple, teaching as usual during these final days, Jesus noticed the rich dropping their offerings into the temple coffers. The way they did it, one could hardly fail to notice them. They did this as they prayed (20:47) for show, to be seen by others.
21:2. Jesus did not focus on the rich. He zeroed in on a poor widow. She had two lepta, each worth about one one-hundredth of a denarius, the coin used for a day laborer’s daily wage. Thus, her contribution to the temple was tiny in terms of monetary value.
21:3. But her two lepta had spiritual power. They form the subject for teaching Christian stewardship to this day. Why are they so important? Jesus valued these “worthless” coins as worth more than all the rich people had put in.
21:4. Jesus’ reasoning is simple. The rich gave from their abundance, leaving much more for themselves. The widow gave from abject poverty, leaving nothing for herself. They gave out of discretionary funds. She gave her bread money. Giving is judged by the degree of sacrifice.