And he called to him his disciples, and said to them, Truly I say to you, That this poor widow has cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And he called unto him his disciples.—The act was significant. He sought to teach them to judge of acts by other than a quantitative standard. For him the widow’s mites and the ointment that might have been sold for 300 pence stood on the same level, so far as each was the expression of a generous and self-sacrificing love.2 Corinthians 8:12.
See on Lu 21:1-4.See Poole on "Mark 12:41"
and saith unto them, verily I say unto you: a way of speaking he often used, when he was about to deliver something of importance, and not so easy of belief, and which required attention, and what he solemnly affirmed:
that this poor widow, pointing to her,
hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: not that she had cast in more, or so much as any one of them as to value and substance, much less more than them all put together; but that she had cast in more in proportion to what she had, than they had in proportion to their substance; and that hers, though very small in itself, and might be contemptible to others, yet it was more in the account of God and Christ, and more highly valued and esteemed of by them, than all that the rich men put in: since what she gave, she gave in faith, and from a principle of love, and with a view to the glory of God; when theirs was given only in hypocrisy, to make an outward show, and to be seen of men.And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Mark 12:43. ἡ πτωχὴ, emphatic—the poverty-stricken; manifest from her dress and wasted look.43. he called unto him] “De re magna. Specimen judicii olim exercendi, pro statu cordium.” Bengel.
more in, than all they] It is not said that the gifts of the others were worthless. Many possessed, no doubt, no worth (Matthew 6:1); others, a greater or a less. The greatest value, however, attached itself to her gift, because of the self-denial which it implied.Mark 12:43. Προσκαλεσάμενος, having called unto Him) As being about to speak of a momentous subject. He thus gives us a specimen of the judgment which He will hereafter exercise, according to the state of hearts.—τοὺς μαθητὰς, the disciples) who had not estimated the widow’s gift so highly. [It is for this reason the καρδιογνώστης, Knower of hearts, prefaces His words with Amen, verily.—V. g.]—πλεῖον, more) not in mere geometrical proportion, but in mind [intention, motive], to which the Lord had regard. If any rich man had contributed all his resources, the act, viewed extrinsically, would have been greater, in so far as two pieces of money are more readily acquired again, than many: but yet he would not thereby have surpassed the mind [influencing motive] of this poor woman. [That praise, wherewith Jesus honoured the poor widow, altogether exceeds (to what an amazing degree!) all the acclamations of the world.—V. g.]Verses 43, 44. - This poor widow hath cast in more. The right reading of the verb here is ἔβαλε, not βέβληκε; this aoristic rendering has very good authority - this poor widow cast in more. Her act is completed, and has gone up for a memorial before God . She "gave" more than all the others who are casting (τῶν βαλλόντων), not "have cast in (τῶν βαλόντων)." She gave more, when she threw in those two mites, than all the others were giving - more, that is, in the estimation of him who sees not as man sees. God does not weigh the gift so much as the mind of the giver. That gift is really the greater in his sight, not which is actually of greater value, but which is greater in respect of the giver. Therefore this poor widow, when she gave her farthing, gave more than they all, because she gave all her living - all, that is, that she had beforehand for that day, trusting that the Lord would give her her bread for that day. And so she carried off the palm for liberality, Christ himself proudly present, but what you offer with being the Judge. St. Ambrose says, "That humility and devotion." which God esteems is not that which you proudly present, but what you offer with humility and devotion.
The Greek order is very suggestive, forming a kind of climax: this window, the poor one, or and she poor.
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