From the “Enduring Word” Website
Commentary on Luke 21:3-4
(3-4) Jesus assesses the widow’s gift.
So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for GOD, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”
a. This poor widow has put in more than all: Jesus did not say that she put in more than any one of them. He said that she put in more than all of them – all of them put together. The others gave out of their abundance; she gave sacrificially, out of her poverty.
i. Jesus’ principle here shows us that before GOD, the spirit of giving determines the value of the gift more than the amount. GOD doesn’t want grudgingly given money or guilt money. GOD loves the cheerful giver.
ii. The widow’s gift and Jesus’ comment on it also shows us that the value of a gift is determined by what it costs the giver. This is what made the widow’s gift so valuable. David refused to give GOD ‘that which cost me nothing’ (2 Samuel 24:24).
“Then the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to The LORD my GOD with that which costs me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver” (II Samuel 24:24).
iii. Jesus’ principle here shows us that GOD does not need our money. If GOD needed our money, then how much we give would be more important than our heart in giving. Instead, it is our privilege to give to Him, and we need to give because it is good for us, not because it is good for GOD.
b. Out of her poverty: The woman was poor because she was a widow and had no husband to help support her. It also may be significant that Jesus had just criticized the scribes as those who devour widow’s houses(Luke 20:47). Then a lone widow made a spectacular contribution. Perhaps a scribe devoured her house.
i. The widow challenged the mindset that says, “I’ll give when I have more.” The widow had virtually nothing, yet was a giver. This means that we can all please GOD with our giving just as much as the richest man can please GOD with his giving. Whatever we give sacrificially to GOD, He sees it and is pleased.