Giving Christ What Pleases Him, Pastor Phil Sessa

Luke 21:1-4, “1 Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, 2 and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. 3 And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. 4 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

When I went to the jewelers I was looking at some rings for my wife. The Jeweler explained to me the four C’s to look for when looking at a diamond. The Jeweler looks at the Carat weight, diamond Color, Cut, and Clarity. However, when I look at a diamond I usually see the Shape, and the Shine, oh and the Sacrifice (aka the cost). Although myself and my Jeweler look at the same ring, we see different things. I see my three S’s and he sees his four C’s. He looks through a magnifying glass, and his judgment is aligned with the standards of the properly rating diamonds, and that determines the price. The reality of looking at the exact same thing, but seeing two different things applies to jewelry, and perhaps almost any given field of discipline.

Jesus had spoken to the Sadducees and left them feeling foolish when they could not catch Jesus in their foolish questions. Jesus speaks to His disciples, in the presence of both the people at the temple, as well as the Sadducees concerning the giving of offerings in the treasury at the temple. Everyone saw the same thing, a poor widow putting in two copper coins, and rich men placing their gifts into the offering box. Both the people and Jesus saw the giving of the offerings, but both saw with very different eyes. Luke writes that the scribes we’re those “who devour widows’ houses.” The IVP NT Commentary states, “Widows had little means of support, were socially powerless and were to be protected under Jewish law. Jesus could mean that these teachers exploit widows’ resources by seeking extensive tithes (which they could set at 20–30 percent, on top of the heavy land taxes levied by the government); or he could mean that they follow the letter of the law in legal decisions, rather than showing mercy to the poor as the law required.”. Jesus often had a way of explaining how the last would be first in the kingdom of God, and showing how the most despised of society that truly tried to honor God were those God would exalt, as the prideful religious leaders would lift themselves up, and put others down. Jesus commended the poor widow saying, “For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” The Greek expression signifies extreme poverty. The smallest copper coins in use in Palestine, worth about one-eighth of a cent, but representing her total livelihood, hence all she had to live on. Yet what she deposits Jesus exalts, and He is the only One that saw this as pleasing to God, as opposed to everyone else that measured in certain amounts. How is the amount the widow offered going to make a bit of difference? This woman was desperately poor, she was more fit to be a recipient of charity than a donor mites (MacArthur Study Bible). It made a difference to the One in whom the money was supposed to be a blessing toward, God Himself. It was the God man Christ Jesus that it made a difference to. Peter and James both wrote, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Christ sees through His holy lens that which pleases Him. He gets pleasure in seeing what pleases Him, and not what pleases man. Paul wrote, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Serve the Lord with that which pleases Him. To find out what pleases Him look to His Word, and bath your decisions in prayer by the Word of God.

Until the nets are filled…

Blessings, Phil, the evangelist <><

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