The Poor Widow Jesus refers too


“A widow in ancient Palestine was in a very vulnerable financial condition. Most people lived in patriarchal family units on hereditary family land, under the authority of the ruling adult male. Women lived under the authority and protection of men. Unmarried women remained at home under the authority of their fathers. Married women lived under the authority and protection of their husbands. While some widows in Palestine were citizens of Rome, with greater legal and financial resources, most widows were extremely vulnerable. Most widows had no legal standing and no resources of their own. For this reason, the Torah always recognized widows as a special class of people who needed protection.In both Mark 12:38-44 and Luke 20:45-47; 21:1-4, the story of the poor widow comes immediately after Jesus’s condemnation of the practices of the Scribes. The Scribes were the legal scholars. They were the experts on the oral and written Torah.
In both Mark and Luke, Jesus comments on the poor widow after describing the Scribes as those who “devour the houses of widows.”Unless she was a Roman citizen, a widow had no legal status to manage the property and money her husband had left behind. After a man’s death, the Scribes would appoint a pious man to handle the widow’s financial affairs. The implication of the story is that the Scribes were using their status as experts in the law to defraud the widows out of their property. The Scribes who were supposed to protect her had left her with only two tiny coins to live on.This story Jesus tells about the poor widow is consistent with his condemnation of the religious system, which defrauded the poor widows. It is also consistent with his condemnation of the practices of the rich because of their exploitation of the poor. He compares the contributions of the rich with the tiny contribution of the widow as a way to criticize the rich. Although the very rich gave large sums of money, what they gave made no difference in the way they lived. They gave out of their abundance. However, she gave all she had to live on.When Christian teaching separates the story of the widow from the comment about the Scribes who devour the houses of widows, it misses the point of the teachings of Jesus about money.

This is not a story telling the poor to give away everything they have. It is a story about an unjust system in which the poorest and most vulnerable were being exploited by the rich and powerful. ..This story does not teach the most vulnerable of the society to give away everything they have. In fact, this story is a condemnation of a religious system that robbed widows of their money.”


Interesting.. I have seen big rich evangelical churches abuse the poor persons myself.. Baptist, Alliance, Pentecostal ones too..
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  1. hp1181

     /  September 12, 2008

    While your explanation may have some validity, I believe Jesus’ comment is more basic given the setting – she loved God more because she gave what she couldn’t afford. She simply loved God more and showed it by giving everything she had. I would compare it to praying on a street corner for everyone to see (the rich) and she going into her closet to pray. My two cents.
    That said – every organization abuses the poor. I’ve seen it all too often. Country, state, city, or denomination/belief – they all do it and always have.

  2. I was sitting in one of the biggest,
    most established evangelical churches in Canada
    for the first time..
    and surprisingly next I heard Jesus say to me,

    ” Paul what are you doing here?”

    shocked I said in reply” I am worshipping in your house?”

    and Jesus replied to me and said

    ” but these are the rich who persecute the poor people

    so I ask you again what are you doing here?:

    Embarrassed I shortly next left

    and never came back to this bad church.

    yet the people in that church were proud of their church,

    their accomplishments..

    it too was rather a rich man’s social club

    and not a real church..

    AND IT WAS in the Calgary First Christian Missionary Alliance Church, Stephen’s Harper’s church too

    We can agree that God notices poor people as well//

    Gen 31:7 But your father has deceived me and changed my wages ten times, but God did not allow him to hurt me.

    In my life I have also no faced death often, and serious illnesses more than once….

    I can say for certainly that the many bad things that happened in my life reduced when I became a bond slave, servant of Jesus Christ, I dispel many of them away now too in the name and the authority of of Jesus .. and all those bad things still that had happened, now had happned for God’s glory still next.. and for my good..

    How some professing even Christian people falsely still to overlook that Jesus came to help the poor and needy persons is way beyond me

    Hey we seem all to be able read into the Bible anything you want but the reality, for all of the people who collect the tithe, the poor and priests now they were all on Biblical social welfare, and they were not allowed to own property just as much as anyone on social aid today too.. 1/7 of the tithe was to be given to the poor, and the role of deacons was to help poor people with social aid..

    Just wait till many of then now get to be over 45 and get cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and cannot work and how gladly they even will go on social aid.. they should not bash poor people for they too will walk in their footsteps next to learn compassion.. and I personally in my life now have seen many Christians in churches go that route next .


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