Luke20:41-47 & Luke21: 1-4

Written by kathleen on Jul 06, 2014 in - No Comments

Luke 20:41-47 & Luke 21:1-4

“Two mite giving”

The ministry of Jesus is in its final days. Sunday He made His triumphant entry into the city was rejected. Monday He came back into the temple and cleansed it. And daily He was in the temple teaching. On one of these days, perhaps Tuesday, the religious leaders came seeking to trap Him in His speech, asking Him trick questions, hoping that He would get caught in saying something negative towards Rome or towards their religious beliefs;

Now it’s right in this context of this verbal battle with the religious leaders and His warning of the people to beware of them,  Jesus now has a question for His questioners as He quotes to them Psalm 110. A psalm concerning the Messiah,

 41 Then Jesus said to them, “How is it that they say the Christ is the Son of David? 42 David himself declares in the Book of Psalms: “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand 43 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” 44 David calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”

 When the Scribes, Herodians, Pharisees, and Sadducees questioned Jesus, they tried to make Him look bad or trap Him. Jesus didn’t do the same with His questions to them. Instead, He got to the heart of the matter: “do you really know who I am?”

He begins with what do you think?” to test what they already knew about the Messiah in order that they might consider that they may not know everything about the Messiah, and may have something to learn.

Son of David was the most common messianic title of their day that had been based on what was revealed in the OT in Isa 11:1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

 And in Jeremiah 23:5 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.

King David was promised by God that the Messiah would come through his line that was from the line of Abraham’s genealogy. God’s promise to David is found in 1 Kings 9:5 “There shall never cease to be one of your seed, your son sitting upon the throne forever”

Anyone with any religious upbringing during that time recognized that was the promise of God that the Messiah would come through David so technically He could be identified as David’s son.

Jesus is actually posing a question to them that was very difficult for them to comprehend because in their strong patriarchal type of culture there is no way a father would ever call his son Lord. There was always that high respect for the father. The father was always called the Lord; never the son and especially never by the father.

So Jesus is saying the messiah is not only the Son of David He is also the Lord of David making him the also the son of God leaving the inescapable implication that Jesus was declaring His Deity

Rev 22:16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

45 While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 47 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.”

The scribes were men of leisure, who dressed well with long expensive robes who watched while others worked. They loved greetings especially in public places that demanded recognition from others for their standing with God. (Holier than thou)

They demanded the “perks” of status and privilege including the best seats in the synagogue. The buildings usually had benches around the walls and a few benches toward the front of the room which left space for everyone else to stand. There was usually a couple of benches next to the chest where the scrolls were kept reserved for the VIP’s which they all desired to sit at.

The Pharisee’s of Jesus’ day taught that teachers were to be respected almost as God; they said that they deserved more honor and respect than any other people did. They also taught that the greatest act someone could do is give money to a teacher.

 In that day, a Jewish teacher could not be paid for teaching – but he could receive gifts. Apparently, it was common practice for them to use flattery and manipulation to get big gifts from those who could least afford to give them – such as widows

Jesus said we should notice what they do, as well as what they say – and especially that we should notice their destiny.  

Although He denounces these religious leaders for their self-serving religiosity, God always has a remnant of faithful ones as in .1 Kings 19:18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel-all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him.” (Elijah was afraid and running for his life)

Today they’re still dangerous & the warning continues!

2 Tim 3 You may as well know this too, Timothy, that in the last days it is going to be very difficult to be a Christian. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money; they will be proud and boastful, sneering at God, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful to them, and thoroughly bad. 3 They will be hardheaded and never give in to others; they will be constant liars and troublemakers and will think nothing of immorality. They will be rough and cruel, and sneer at those who try to be good. 4 They will betray their friends; they will be hotheaded, puffed up with pride, and prefer good times to worshiping God. 5 They will go to church, yes, but they won’t really believe anything they hear. Don’t be taken in by people like that. 2 Tim 3:1-5 TLB        

As Jesus declares that these guys will receive greater condemnation; it is also saying these religious leaders represent a complete contrast to the picture of how a disciple should live as a child of God.

John tells us in 1 John 2:3-6 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4 The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.                                                                                                                  

Jesus now draws the attention of His disciples to a widow exhibiting sacrificial generosity.

21:1 As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins (mites)

As He is watching and no doubt He was referring to people who made very showy presentations unto the Lord as they were putting their money into the treasury

According to the Mishnah, there were in the temple thirteen such trumpet-shaped receptacles. Some of these were in the Court of the Women where Jesus could see from his seat in the temple.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus He spoke about how you should give Matt 6:1-4 “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.  2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Don’t let your righteous actions be motivated by your desire to be praised by men. So that you do them in such a way as you draw attention to yourself. Don’t make a big show of it.

He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites: This poor widow must have been a welcome sight to Jesus as she put all her trust in for God.

Two mites According to Poole’s calculations = the value of a mite can be determined like this: denarii is one day’s wage, and equals six meahs; one meah equals two pondions; one pondion equals two issarines; one issarine equals eight mites. When you figure it all out, two mites is 1% of a denarius – 1% of a day’s wage.

And this woman gave two mites, not just one. She might have kept one coin for herself, and who would blame her if she did? Giving one meant giving half of all her money. But in giving two mites, her giving has certain recklessness about it. She was all in by faith trusting God to take care of her.

Jesus looks at us when we give. He notices how much we give, or don’t. But at that point he is far more interested in what that amount says about our hearts than anything else.

Jesus assesses the widow’s gift. 3 “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Jesus did not say that she put in more than any one of them. He said that she put in more than all of them put together! She put in more than all because all the others gave out of their abundance; she gave sacrificially, out of her poverty. “an eighth of a cent”

This tells me that the poor person can serve and please God just as much as a rich person. It doesn’t matter if you are poor in influence, in gifts, or in money; if you sacrificially give to God what you have, He sees it and is pleased.

In our giving, the issue is not the amount but the cost. For some people, to put one hundred dollars in the offering is very easy. For others, to put in even one dollar is costly. This woman gave only two mites, but it cost her everything.

God doesn’t need or desires our “tips.”   Survey: restaurant

After a plague had passed through Israel, leaving an incredible death toll in its wake, David was instructed by the Lord to build an altar and sacrifice to Him.

To do so, David sought to purchase a piece of property from a man named Araunah. Hearing the reason for his purchase, Araunah offered to donate the land.  King David, however, insisting to pay the full price said, “I will not sacrifice to the Lord of that which costs me nothing” 2 Samuel 24:24.

David said to be a man after God’s own heart reveals the Father’s heart toward giving.

In verse one it says Jesus watched how people gave

(What does he see with your offering?)

Paul tells us God loves those who give cheerfully, or, literally hilariously to give joyfully and radically to the Lord.

2 Cor 9:6-8 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

This passage is telling us that just as there are natural laws in the universe—laws of gravity, inertia, and thermodynamics—there are spiritual laws as well. If you give sparingly, you will reap sparingly; if you give generously, you will reap generously. That’s an absolute law of God as certain as is gravity or any other physical law

I don’t know how electricity works other than electrical current travels through the wire. I don’t know how A/C works; I turn the switch on hot air goes out cool air comes in. I don’t know how gravity works but I use them all. And even if I ignore them, my ignorance or denial of them does not alter their effect in the least

In other words, if I jump off a roof my denying the existence of the law of gravity will not slow my fall

So, too, whether I am aware of it or not, the law of sowing and reaping is as certain as the law of gravity

And so insistent is the Lord upon this principle that it is the only one which God says, “Test Me.”

Mal 3:7-12 Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ 8 Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’  “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse-the whole nation of you-because you are robbing me.  10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.

Satan tried to get Jesus to prove God by jumping off the pinnacle of the temple He answered. “It is written, you’re not to test the Lord your God,”  

Yet with regard to tithing, God makes an exception when He says, “Start tithing and watch and see how I’ll bless you in ways that will warm your heart, build your faith, and set you free.

In the brief story of this widow I see three lessons for us!

  1. Proportional Giving. This principle is at the root of the tithe (10% giving to the Lord) taught in the Old Testament. Paul reiterates this principle to the Corinthian church: “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income…” (1 Corinthians 16:2).
  2. Sacrificial Giving. We don’t win extra points with God when we give sacrificially. This is not a contest. But know that when you make sacrifices; Jesus promises, “Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:4).
  3. Faith-filled Giving. Luke 21:3 The third lesson is that we ourselves should not despise our small gifts to God. We are to give what we are able, whether small or large.

It is easy to feel, “My small gift won’t make any difference. It won’t matter.” But that’s not true. It does matter to your Heavenly Father who loves you. It is also faith-filled when you give, not knowing exactly how God will provide for you after you give proportionately to your income and expecting God to meet your needs.