Verse one says that Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box. This was one of thirteen collection chests that were shaped like trumpets. A very good description of this arrangement can be found in this article at Ferrell’s Travel Blog. Jesus also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. The coins are known by most people as the widow’s “mites.”
There was no coin at that time called a mite, but when the King James Bible was created there was one. But the Greek word for the coins in the scripture was a Lepton (pl. Lepta), which means “small” or “the thin one.” The Lepton was reportedly minted by Alexander Janneaus, who was king of Judea from 103-76 B.C. The coins were only about one centimeter in diameter, and were worth only about 1/128 of a denarius. A denarius was a day’s wages for the common worker.
According to Pharisaical law of the day, it was not acceptable to put in less than two gifts. So this poor widow literally contributed, on that occasion, the smallest gifts possible. But Jesus said that she had contributed more than any of the rich that He had seen making their contributions. They had given just a minute portion of the wealth that they had, whereas the widow had literally given all that she had to live on.
The widow’s actions demonstrated not only her selfless heart, but also her great faith that the Lord would take care of her.
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.