And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.…
I. THE VALUE INDICATED. A mite (λεπτόν) was something very small; our word to represent it being from minute, through the French mite. The value of the two was three-fourth of an English farthing. But it was her all, and showed her singular self-denial. Accordingly, our Lord measured the merit of her liberality not by the amount she gave, but by the self-denial which the gift involved.
II. CHRIST SEES ALL THINGS. He saw this poor widow - what she gave and why gave. He sees all we do and all we think, for he knows what is in man. He sees us restrain the evil that we do, overrule it, and punish it; he sees us to approve of the go we do, encourage in the present time and recompense it in the time to come.
III. TRUE STANDARD OF LIBERALITY. Christ on this occasion did not overlook large gifts of the rich; but they could spare these out of their abundance, without stinting themselves or really pitying the poor. He fixed attention on the widow's mite, for it her all; and so she could ill spare it, and could only be considered as giving it from sympathy with and compassion on the poor. Three things are to be taken into account in our estimate of Christian liberality:
(1) the motive of giving - it must be the glory of God and the good of man;
(2) the manner of giving - not by constraint, but of ready mind, and so God loves the cheerful giver; and
(3) the measure, which should just in proportion as God has prospered us. - J.J.G.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.