“Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.” Mark 12:43-44
It’s easy to honor a rich person. There’s something instinctual about it. We see the quality of the clothing they wear. We here the way they talk with the characteristic combination of education and self assurance. We see the reactions of those that know them and we just can’t help ourselves. Even if we don’t really like them we have to treat them with respect and consideration.
But with the poor it’s different. There’s within virtually all of us an internal governing attitude that tells us that it’s understandable, even acceptable, to treat the poor with carelessness and disrespect. It’s as if we believe that because someone has less that they must be worth less.
Jesus never extended any kind of preference toward the wealthy. Neither do I believe that he treated them with disrespect. Rich and poor were of equal worth to him.
Jesus also had the ability to look beyond the external facts and see the true magnitude of the spiritual realities. That’s why he was unimpressed by the large offerings of the wealthy. They could come to the temple and give as much as one person would make in a year and then go home and sit down to a feast. Their gift had been no sacrifice at all.
But when the widow came, this was different situation for “she out of her poverty put in all that she had.” Her gift had been of such a magnitude that she would be compelled to fast, perhaps for days, till she had the means to afford to eat again.
Friends, only God can look on the heart. We can only make assumptions based on what we see on the outside. For this reason we need to be like Christ who treated everyone as the honored and loved child of God they are. It’s not about treating anyone as less. It’s about extending carefulness and respect to everyone.