41 And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.[f] 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
This is another passage often misappropriated by people trying to justify their subpar stewardship. Many arrive at the wrong conclusion that it does not matter how much you give. That is not the point of Jesus’ words to His disciples. The Lord recognized the devotion, sacrifice and faith of the widow. The offerings of the rich required none of these attributes. Perhaps, Jesus knew their hearts and that the rich were giving out of habit alone or to maintain some type of standing in the community – kind of like the people that go to “the church” in town to help their business. They gave a large sum, but proportionally it was not a significant percentage of their wealth. It took no faith; they had an abundance on which to live.
The widow demonstrated real faith. She seems to have given without any guarantee that she would have another means to support herself. Remember – there was no government program like welfare or social security. The widow’s offering was a demonstration of true worship. This type of total commitment was very uncommon around 30 AD and it is even more uncommon in 2015.