Mark 12:41-44

Open your mind and heart as you read the passage of Scripture aloud and then again quietly to yourself. Listen for God’s word to you.

Spend some time in worship.




Jesus was teaching in the temple, sitting opposite the area where people made their donations to the temple treasury. He had spent the previous hours being bombarded by questions posed by the scribes and Pharisees and others who opposed Him. Now, in this brief interval, He watched as people made their contributions to the temple funds.

Many people made large donations, throwing them into the copper, trumpet-shaped receptacles and making a satisfying clanging noise as their coins hit the copper. The widow’s offering was tiny in relation to everyone else’s. It has been calculated that two mites were the equivalent of 1% of a denarius – which was taken as the wages for a day’s labour.

Jesus was never concerned about how much people gave, but the state of their hearts as they gave. The amazing point of the widow’s donation was that she had two mites and she gave them both. No one would have blamed her if she had given one and kept one – but she gave them both.

Jesus, never one to miss an opportunity to teach, called His disciples to Him and gave them an amazing principle. He had watched people throw their lavish donations into the receptacles with a sense of pride and arrogance at their wealth. Then He saw the widow give her two coins which would just have rattled as they landed and He said that she had donated more than all the other donors combined.

The widow, who would have had no man to support her, didn’t give a percentage of what she had as others had done. No matter what percentage they gave, or the value of their donation, this lady had given everything she had. Her gift alone was sacrificial. She challenged the idea that she need only give when she had more to give. She gave anyway – and Jesus, the Son of God, was touched by her gift.

Jesus made the point that it is the spirit of giving that determines the value of the gift. God sees the heart and loves a cheerful giver. He also emphasized the fact that God does not need money. If He did then the amount given would be more important than the spirit of giving. Giving is a privilege – not because it is good for God but because it is good for the giver.


How do you feel when you see someone giving a gift that seems to exceed their means? And how do you feel when you do this – or when you receive an unexpectedly generous gift. How does this affect your relationship with the giver?


  • In the sermon it was said that the main uses of money is to give glory to God and to advance His Kingdom by showing faith in the promises of God. How does this compare with the way you use your money? Are you willing or reluctant to discuss such issues? Why/why not?
  • Substance: How did you feel when you were made aware that Jesus watches as you donate money to your church (the equivalent of the temple treasury)? Does such awareness prompt you to make any changes to your donation or are you at peace with what you give?
  • Three reasons were given why we tend to fall short of giving a tithe (10%) of our income:
    o We were never taught about this matter
    o We do not feel we can do this at this time
    o We ignore/disobey the issue
    Which one of these resonates with you most strongly at this time?
  • Standard: Which of the following is the greatest challenge for you:
    o Giving proportionally according to what God has given you?
    o Giving properly to the church to be distributed as the Lord directs?
    o Giving perpetually, no matter what you have?
    Why do you think this is so?
  • Significance: Are you able to give liberally, generously, sacrificially? Why/why not? What is the biggest struggle for you in this regard?
  • You were asked to consider how you will act in regard to the following:
    o What is the current substance in my giving?
    o What standard to I hold?
    o How can I give more significantly?
    Now you have had time to think about these questions, what is your response?
  • How can the group help you with the struggles you have mentioned during this session?

Pray for one another in regard to the issues that have been raised during your discussion time, and in regard to other needs of the group.

Spend some time with God this week asking for guidance from Him how He would like you to use your money and for the courage to take the first step for His glory and the advance of His Kingdom. Take a step of faith and follow His lead.


Mark Chapter 12

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