When Two Cents Is Worth More Than a Million Dollars

October 27, 2018

Mark 12:41-44

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”


Two copper coins are more than very large offerings of money. How can this be? How can 2/8 of a cent be more than $1,000? It makes no sense. How can the least be the greatest and the last be the first? How does the smallest seed become the largest tree? How does humility lead to exaltation.

None of this makes any sense and yet it makes perfect sense to Jesus. So if it doesn’t make sense to me, then I have not yet learned to think like Jesus. The world’s way of thinking and its value system is more often than not completely opposite of Jesus’ way of thinking and value system.

18- For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. . . 25- For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 1 Corinthians 18:18,25.

Faith means learning to trust the wisdom and values of Jesus even though it seems completely opposite of the ways of the world. When Jesus says this widow has put in more than all of the wealthy people who clearly put in more money, then the widow has put in more. It gets even more interesting when we remember the text from yesterday; the one just preceding this story about the widow.  I’ll refresh our memory:

As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.” Mark 12:38-40. 

Do you see what he’s saying? It’s so easy for us to think we get this concept about the most respected people being the most despicable, but we don’t. Jesus’ analogy is not to the crooked politicians of our time, but more likely the people in our communities who are most esteemed and respected. I’m just hoping he’s not talking about me.

If there’s one thing I’ve become sure of in life it’s this: However things seems to be on the outside, you can bet that they’re not really that way. Faith means living in the midst of the world’s value system with a completely different set of values; a different mindset. When the world’s compass points south, we can bet Jesus compass points north. However, discipleship is not about just opposing the values of the world and trying to do the opposite. Discipleship is about following Jesus—exclusively—when it make sense to us and when it doesn’t. Discipleship is the process of being trained by the indwelling Holy Spirit to put on the “mind of Christ.”

There’s a text in Scripture that has perhaps become more important to me than any other text. It’s one I have remembered and I try and rehearse it every day. I commend it to you. I want to encourage you to give yourself to learning this text forwards and backwards, inside out and upside down. It’s another T.T.L.V. move (remember? Take The Long View) I’ll reprint it below.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

It’s only as we grow in the very mind of Jesus that we will ever hope to truly understand how two cents can be worth more than a million dollars.


Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me. Lord Jesus, you are the Living embodiment of true brilliance. You hear the deepest and see the furthest because your mind is the wisest— filled with the perfection of the union of grace and truth. I want to think like you think, to hear like you best, to see like you see and so that I might love like you love. That’s really all I want. Melt me. Mold me. Fill me. Use me. For the glory of your name, Jesus. Amen.


Have you ever done anything that made no sense in the terms and value system of the world and yet seemed to be the wisdom of God and the way of Jesus? How did that turn out?

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For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt

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I write every day at THE SEEDBED DAILY TEXT.

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

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