Highlights In Today's Reading:
The meaning of true giving (21:1-4). The Temple and Jerusalem will be destroyed and Jesus tells the signs to expect for the end of the age, including the sign of the fig tree (21:5-38). It's almost time for the Passover and Satan enters Judas (22:3). The plot begins! The disciples prepare the Passover (20:7-13); then Jesus institutes the Lord's Supper (22:14-23). Jesus predicts Peter's denial (22:31-34). He goes to the Garden to pray (22:39-46). The multitudes come and Our Savior is betrayed (22:47-53). Peter actually denies the Lord (22:54-62). Jesus is mocked and beaten, then taken to face the Sanhedrin (22:63-71.
While the disciples were admiring the magnificent stonework of the Temple and the wealthy worshippers whose gifts made it the pride of the nation passed by, Jesus had been observing a poor widow (21:2) and was touched by her sacrifice in sharing her gift of two small coins. She . . . cast in all the living that she had. Two mites — she might have kept one of them (21:4). In fact, to a self-centered world the reaction would have been: "How foolish of her to give anything." But her gift remains as a cutting rebuke to the selfish calculating of the world.
Neither she nor her gift were of any value in the world's estimation. Yet she alone received praise from the Lord who said: This poor widow hath cast in more than they all (21:3). To Him who seeth not as man seeth (I Samuel 16:7), she gave immeasurably above all others.
The Lord is concerned with who gives, what they give, and why they give, as well as what they didn't give. He said nothing to the widow — nothing in her hearing. Until the day she died she never considered herself or her gift of any worth. It is a fair question, isn't it, to ask: "What is Christ's estimate of our giving?" Are we offering to Him a sacrifice or just something we will never miss?
The blessing of the Lord is upon the offering that expresses the heartfelt gratitude and self-denial of the giver. To follow Christ faithfully, often Christians must give up self-interests when we have an opportunity to serve the Lord by helping someone. It is by unselfish love, like that of Jesus, that the world has been redeemed. What does it teach but that we need to give like Him?
What is the cross but the symbol of the greatest of all sacrifices — the complete surrender of Jesus' life for the glory of God and to save a lost world?
And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for My sake, the same shall save it (Luke 9:23-24).
Thought for Today:
The rich rarely tithe thinking it is too much to give. It is usually those that have the least that give the most.
21:4 penury =poverty; 21:13 shall turn to you for a testimony =will turn out to be an opportunity to tell the Good News; 21:15 to gainsay =to refute; 21:34 surfeiting =overindulgence; 22:39 wont =in the habit of.
For Luke 21:27: See Daniel 7:13. Luke 22:37: See Isaiah 53:12. Luke 22:69: See Psalm 110:1.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in honor of Rick Hash • Staff: Dan Murton • Government Officials: Rep. Bruce Braley (IA), Gov. Felix Perez Camacho (Guam), Rep. John Doolittle (CA), Rep. Peter Hoekstra (MI), and Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ) • Country: Macedonia (2 million) in southeastern Europe • Major languages: Macedonian and Albanian • strongly Orthodox country • 67% Macedonian Orthodox; 23% Muslim; 3% Catholic; 2% Protestant; 5% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Trust the Lord for deliverance in times of trouble (Psa. 51:15).
Memory Verse for the Week: Luke 14:33