Jesus compared the widow’s two mites with the gifts of the rich men by saying, “Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they 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.” (Lk. 21:1-4). Rich men are condemned, not because they are rich, but because they trust in riches (Mk. 10:24), bestow gifts to be seen or praised of men (Matt. 23:5), or because they fail to “be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate” (1 Tim. 6:17-19). The gifts of the rich can be used for good, but not as much as the widow’s mites.
Too often, we fail to “bestow more abundant honor” upon “those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble. . . And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable” (1 Cor. 12:22,23). We need to remember that God has “set the members every one of them in the body, as it has pleased him,” and that all members of the body, the church, “are necessary” (1 Cor. 12:18,22).
In our public assemblies, the preacher may be the most visible member in that assembly, because of the emphasis placed on preaching in the edification process, and the time set aside for such teaching. That is not to say that the preacher is the most important member of a congregation, or that either he or the congregation regard him as such. If so, we need to rearrange our thinking.
Though invisible, Christ needs to be the central figure of our lives, and in our public assemblies. Christ “is the head of the body, the church” (Col. 1:18), and has promised, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20).
We need to give honor to the elders who oversee the flock at all times, and not just during the public assemblies of the church. Teachers need to be commended and appreciated for the many hours of time which they have devoted to study, class preparation, and actual teaching done. We pause from time to time and express our appreciation for “all those who have taken a public part” in the assemblies of the church, and well we should. Yes, much more honor should be given to the ones who serve the Lord faithfully without regard to any salary, as compared to those who refuse to preach unless they are paid and that a certain amount (1 Cor 9:18).
We need also to recognize those who go about quietly in their daily lives ministering to the Lord and the needs of others, and may just as quietly come and sit in the public assemblies of the church, though they may not be seen in some public capacity. Yet, they are there, they are seen, and without them, those who take an “active” part couldn’t be very active without an audience. The widow’s mites are needed, though the mites may only “seem” to be less honorable. Yet, in God’s eyes, the widows two mites are great because it was all that she had. Would a rich man give all that he has? Would a working man give all that he has? Would you give all that you have? She did, and for that, even her two mites are greater than great riches. In other words, if you are going to give to God, your money, your talent, your time, your sweat and blood, give all that you have to the Lord, no matter how small the world might consider them to be. This is good and acceptable to God and worthy of great honor!