“Many rich people threw in large amounts”.

Mk 12:41 NIV

Sometimes when Christian organizations are considering their financial affairs someone will say something like this: “Well, we need a hundred thousand rands a month and we have three hundred people contributing so we just have to tell each one that they need to give three hundred and thirty-three rands a month and all our problems are solved”. Such a facile approach ignores the fact that the three hundred contributors are all people, not mathematical digits. Some of them are rich and would probably give several thousands monthly. Some are poor and probably ten rands a month would be a real sacrifice. And some are heavily in debt and can give nothing at all.

Jesus was watching – and hearing the tinkling of the coins as they went down. Many of the people were rich and knew their obligation to the temple. They were not misers nor were they stingy. They must have pleased Jesus, for generosity is always a beautiful thing. And there were many of them. The temple treasurer must have been happy that day! It is important to note that Jesus did not criticize the rich people who threw in large amounts. Those rich people (or at least some of them) loved God – that was reflected in their generosity. And their love would have pleased Jesus.

One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, as mentioned in Romans 12:8 is generosity, or just “giving”. Some rich Christians have this gift. So do some middle-income disciples. And some poor ones are generous too. Giving is a practical way to show appreciation to God for all his blessings and to Jesus Christ for his free gift of salvation.


Lord, make me generous according to my means.

Posted in Devotion.