Christina Rossetti expresses our longing to worship Jesus with a generous heart: “What can I give him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part; Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.”
In Luke 19, Jesus did not come quietly into Jerusalem. First, He drove the merchants out of the Temple (19:45–46). Then, He returned to teach. While the religious leaders were plotting to kill Him, the people were hanging on His every word. The chief priests challenged Jesus, questioning His authority (20:1–8). They tried (unsuccessfully) to trap Him with their logic. They even sent spies to try to catch Him in some arrestable offense (20:20–26).
Jesus issued one final public warning to His disciples in the presence of all the people. “Beware of the teachers of the law” (v. 46). Why were these teachers of the law so dangerous? The primary reason was their pride. These religious leaders sought glory for themselves with their fancy robes and seats of honor. They stole from widows’ estates while at the same time voicing long and pretentious prayers. Jesus condemned these actions.
But Luke 21 begins with a very different picture. Jesus noticed a poor widow make her way to the Temple treasury and put in “two very small copper coins” (v. 2). These coins were the smallest currency possible, worth about 1/100 of a denarius, or what the average laborer would make for five minutes of work. But Jesus knew what a generous gift this was. The widow gave “out of her poverty,” she “put in all she had to live on” (v. 4). Jesus called this poor widow’s small donation the greater gift.
>> We have been blessed beyond measure by the gift of Jesus whose birth we celebrate today! “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15). May we give back to Him with open hearts, offering all that we have.
We owe You our lives, and we give them freely! Thank You for giving us Your Son. Thank You for giving us a part in Your plans for the world. Thank You for the promise of spending eternity in Your presence!