1. Jeremy Bullard says:

    While I don’t disagree with the general view offered on the abusive system that the widow lived under, I do have to disagree with the author’s suggestion that this system is the point of Jesus’ illustration. In my opinion, he tries to make the story about “social justice” when in fact the “social injustice” of the illustration was merely a footnote to what Jesus was actually talking about. Again, going back to the preceding context, as the author did…

    Luke 20:45-47 — And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

    Note that while the injustice of the religious system of the day was mentioned, it was offered only as one example of what was wrong with the system: the hypocrisy. Look at how Jesus describes the scribes as not only a group that preys on widows, but do that and other things while making a spectacle of their “devotion”. They see themselves as God’s “guys” and they want everybody to know it.

    It’s in this context that Jesus points out the widows mite. That puts an entirely different spin on the illustration than the author endorsed. Far from the point being the abusive system, Jesus was drawing on the context He’d provided — the giving of the widow, a veritable nobody next to those who were giving their offerings with her. The contrast demonstrates the difference in authenticity, the GENUINE devotion of the widow versus the “show” that the rich were putting on.

  2. Interestingly, I somehow thought that Jesus said she would be remembered forever because of the relative size of her gift… But I looked it up, and my perception was wrong! I wonder if somehow I heard a sermon or teaching somewhere that suggested it?
    But then, I wonder why Jesus didn’t do something about it right then? He could have easily provided for her and her children. Of course, in the end He did and will provide justice, but she and her children may have starved to death in the meantime.

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