Mark 12:41-44

Mark 12:41 (KJB)
And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.

Jesus had sat down in front of the treasury which consisted of 13 trumpet shaped chests which were the receptacles for money. Each one had a separate purpose. The chests were marked with the purpose such as: temple tribute, incense, sacrifices, wood, or whatever there were needs for. Jesus was watching carefully how the people had dropped their money into the treasury. Those that were rich were able to make large gifts. There was nothing wrong with the rich making large gifts but Jesus was not impressed with the rich and their gifts.

Mark 12:42 (KJB)
And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.

Mites - Leptons

Then as the rich were putting their large gifts into the treasury, a lonely widow approached the treasury and put in two mites. The value of the coins were very minimal. A lepton was the smallest coin available in New Testament times and it was equal to about 1/64 of a Roman denarius which was the daily wage for a laborer. So you would need 64 mites to equal one dayís wages. The nationwide minimum wage in America on May 7, 2013 is $7.25 per hour. By todayís standard that would put the mite or lepton at 90Ę. I have a lepton in my possession, dated 29 A.D., I purchased some years ago and the coin is very small and can be lost very easily. So by 2013 standards she put in $1.80 which is a very small amount.

Mark 12:43 (KJB)
And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:

Then once she cast in the money, Jesus then calls over to His disciples and points the womanís gift out to them. Jesus said that she had put in more money than all of those who donated before her. I am sure the disciples were probably confused at this time because the widow was probably dressed in old clothes and didnít look like she could even afford to put anything into the treasury. Yet, Jesus had claimed that she put in more than all the others.

Mark 12:44 (KJB)
For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

All the others who gave something were giving out of their abundance and that means after they gave, they still had money left over. The widow had given everything that she could, in fact, it was the money she had for her living which was for food and necessities. Jesus sees it this way. It is not the size of the gift which is important but the percentage given with the right attitude. Letís say a wealthy man has $10 million dollars and gives $100,000. He has given 1% of his wealth which means he has 99% left over for himself. A poor man who has $1,000 in the bank gives $100. He has given 10% of his wealth and has 90% left over. So even though the millionaire gave $100,000, he still gave less in percentage than the poor man who gave 10%. Giving is a matter of the heart. (2 Cor 9:6 KJV) But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. I am sure that the widow did not want for anything all the rest of the days of her life.