Jesus was sitting with His disciples in the Temple, watching people bringing their offerings. In those days people took their offerings to the Temple court and dropped them into collection boxes.
Many rich people lived in Jerusalem. They lived in nice houses. They wore fancy clothes. They had plenty to eat. And after they had paid for their nice houses and fancy clothes and good food, they would take some of the money they had left to the Temple for an offering. Dressed in their finest clothes, they would go to the Temple when they knew a lot of people would be there. After looking around to make sure people were watching, they would pour their money into the collection boxes.
Clatter, tinkle, jingle, jangle. They liked it when their money made a lot of noise. They liked it when people turned to see who had put so much money into the collection box. They hoped people were whispering. “See how much offering that person brought? He certainly is generous.”
Jesus knew that those rich people brought only what was left over after they had purchased all the things they wanted.
Then Jesus noticed a woman at the collection box. Jesus knew that her husband had died and that she was a widow. Many times she might have gone without food.
The woman looked around to see if anyone was watching. She was embarrassed because she could bring only a tiny little offering. When she thought no one would see her, she slipped two tiny coins into the collection box and hurried away.
But Jesus had seen her. He had seen the two tiny coins she slipped into the offering box. Jesus said to His disciples, “This poor widow has put in more than all the others.”
As she heard Jesus’ words, “tears of joy filled her eyes.”* She may have had no money to buy bread for dinner, but she was happy to give an offering to God. Even though her offering was tiny, she gave more than all the others because she gave it cheerfully and out of love for God.