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Who can forget the example of the widow who gave the two mites? It is one of the most striking accounts of faith in all of the Scripture. This familiar story from the Gospels of Mark and Luke, tells us that she gave more in her poverty than the rich men who came before her.

Widow's mite set in gold crossHer simplicity and faith are memorialized in Scripture. She is contrasted with the rich men who cast great sums into the treasury. We are left wondering what happened to her since the Scripture does not tell us. However, since Jesus held her up as an example of faith in God, we can be confident that He took care of her. We can be confident that God took care of her, since she was an amazing example of righteousness. Centuries before she lived David said “I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”

From her we learn that God values consecration to Him instead of large gifts. The Creator of Heaven and Earth does not need our lavish offerings but rather He wants our heart. Just as the widow wanted to dedicate everything she had to God, so should we be willing to dedicate our all to Him. We too can be confident that He will care for us.

And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than 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.” (Luke 21:1-4)  

A common gift for people to purchase when they visit the Holy Land is a piece of jewelry containing a widow’s mite that dates from the time of Christ. It is a magnificent way to remember a trip to Jerusalem and the faith of that unnamed widow from long ago. In this way, we can sit beside Jesus and witness the faith of the unnamed woman from so long ago. 

We are not told anything about the faith of the rich men who were flaunting their wealth. Nevertheless, we deduce from the Scriptures that their faith was not as complete as the widow. In the same way that we should admire authentic faith and avoid counterfeit faith, a visitor to Jerusalem should take care to only buy a widow’s mite from a reputable dealer.  

Recently I was visiting with my brother and his family at their home in Texas. My sister-in-law related to me that the most precious gift that she brought back from the Holy Land was a widow’s mite necklace. When they were visiting me in Jerusalem, I took them by Zak’s Jerusalem Gifts on Christian Quarter Road. After drinking mint tea and conversing for a while about many things, Zak brought out the widow’s mite jewelry. My sister-in-law's eyes lighted up since that is one of her favorite Bible stories. She left with a simple silver necklace that tastefully showcases the coin in the center. Now it, and the accompanying certificate of authenticity, are something she will treasure forever. 

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