Refresh: Open with prayer. Ask God for understanding through the Holy Spirit.
Reflect: Our final text for emphasis is Luke 21:1–4. While the passage is short, it is also rich with application for the lives of the people back then as well as for those of us who live now and who will live in the future. The context is important as Jesus had just defined what the Messiah really is and how the authority that people were looking for was not what He was about. His vision was one of restoring justice to the world, to the universe—not to a single country or state or people. He also had just confronted the scribes for their pretentious and pompous attire and actions. Looking straight at those who gave regular tithes and offerings to support the mission of the church, Jesus raised the value of the widow. Her giving was so small, it was just 1/64th of what a man would make working a full day in the fields. It was also 1/128th of the annual temple dues required of a man each year. It was far, far below what was expected. Jesus drew attention to this on purpose.
The widow was also, of course, a woman, and not appreciated—yet she gave all that she had to the very church that did not respect her. Jesus thanked her for the motive of her heart. It is significant that she gave all she had, compared to others who had much more and gave more, but were not giving at a sacrificial level. Jesus thanked her for the motive of her heart. She gave to the church that very soon would help Rome crucify Jesus. Jesus thanked her for the motive of her heart.
If only we could get everything right. If only we could always run all systems perfectly. If only we could control and fix all the problems. If only can go forever. Yes, we need to hold each other more accountable. Yes, we need to make the radical changes that Jesus has called us to make. Yes, we the body of Jesus are learning every single day, but our focus must be all about Jesus. This is the only thing that will hold us together and keep our hearts pure. It is the only way we can forgive and live, the only way we can breathe. The widow could have held back and kept some of her money, but maybe she saw in the temple a symbol of hope. Maybe she had her eyes on Him. Tomorrow, Bill Johnsson will share his message “It’s All About Jesus.” Take this opportunity for a fresh refocus and recommitment to seeing Jesus.
Recalibrate: What brings you closer to Jesus? How can you have more of it in your life?
Respond: Pray for clear motives.
Research: Read one of the suggested commentaries in the bibliography.