When You Have Nothing

No more holding back.  

I wonder if the widow in the temple heard those words whispered in her soul as she clutched the warm coins in her hand. Pressing the precious metal into her perspiring palm, she held them tightly for the last time. They were all she had to live on—dropping the coins would declare her dependence on God.  

  • Was she tempted to pull back?
  • Did insecurity or intimidation grab her thoughts as she was surrounded by the well-to-do?
  • Did they even notice her?

Her two tiny copper coins were so small compared with the heaps of money the wealthy religious placed in the offering as they paraded by.  

But Jesus noticed and asked his disciples to study this wise woman. Through his eyes—the only eyes that mattered—her offering was far greater than the vast amounts of money given for show.  

The widow was getting ready to give her all—no holding back 

As she dropped her coins to be captured by the treasure table, the tapping and clinking must have rang out in heaven like a symphony. Jesus watched and beheld the beauty of a woman giving her heart without reservation to him, for where her treasure was, her heart was also (Matthew 6:21).  

The widow’s giving was a picture of the principle Jesus had recently taught to a teacher of the law asking which of the commandments was the most important. Pulling in words spoken to the Israelites in the wilderness on the brink of their Promised Land arrival, Jesus captured the essence of following God: no holding back.  

Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength”(Mark 12:29-31).  

Giving Our All

Jesus said the widow in the temple truly gave because she gave all she had. No holding back. Anyone can give out of abundance, but how much more precious is our offering when we are giving Jesus our all. 

It’s easy to give out of a harvest, but it takes faith to give our last seed when the harvest is yet to come.  

As the Bridegroom beheld this sacrificial offering, notice he did not stand in the way of her giving. He did not run toward her, grab her hand, and say, “Are you crazy? This is your very last—your very last! Hold back some to see you through the coming days!”  

This passage has always caused me to pause. If our Bridegroom loved the widow, why would he stand back and watch her give everything she had to the temple treasury?  

Meeting Your Needs by Giving

Christine Cain, founder of A21 Ministries, helped me understand why Jesus did not prevent the widow from giving her all in a podcast she recorded. As I listened, I learned that it was not that he did not want her needs to be met. Jesus knew her true needs would be met through her giving. Christine Cain said this “her need was met through her seed.” I love that – don’t you? 

If Jesus can make money come from the mouth of a fish, he can provide for us in creative ways when there seems to be no way (Matthew 17:27).  

Jesus knew the widow’s giving was not about money. It was about her heart. Jesus did not stand in her way because he knew that those who choose to live for the Lord with no holding back are blessed beyond measure.  

Often when we have nothing – we discover He is our everything. 

She trusted him with all her heart…her brave heart. 

When I am down to my last mite of money, my last mite of strength, my last mite of time – let me not pull back in fear but press in to trust you with everything. 

Nourish ScriptureMark 12

Discover how to live the abundant life Jesus gave you by finding nourishment in the Word. Download Nourishing Your Heart today!

Blog written by Aliene Thompson. Aliene Thompson is the founder of Treasured Ministries and the Author of the Nourish Bible Study Series. © 2019 Treasured Ministries.