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.…
In that court of the temple called the court of the women, there stood thirteen vessels, shaped liked trumpets, to receive offerings. Shaped like trumpets! surely a sarcasm is lurking here. As the rich man drops in much, the clash of it sets the trumpet blowing, and all the temple knows what a liberal man is passing by. But two mites would cause the trumpet to sound very faintly, if at all. Yet Love can see love, and will honour it. Christ views it not relatively to what it will buy, but to the love that gave it. But there is an ascetic or envious disparagement of riches in Christ's praise of this tiny offering. Great gifts are just as capable of illustrating pure motives as small ones.
1. If, then, Christ thought much less of the rich men's gifts than they did themselves, it was because they gave
(1) for ostentation, loving (so to say) the trumpet much more than the temple,
(2) without a grateful sense of personal obligation, and
(3) with little spiritual appreciation of the true glory of Jehovah's service, or
(4) because usage so required, and policy urged their observance of the usage, though their heart inwardly grudged the offering.
2. And if Christ thought much more of the widow's gift than any of these men would have done, or even His own disciples, it was because of
(1) the grateful love she manifested,
(2) the deep sense of religious blessings she evinced,
(3) the self-respect that valued a share in spiritual obligations, and would not allow penury to be an excuse for withholding an offering,
(4) that confiding trust shown towards God, which would not divide the last farthing with Him, giving Him one mite and keeping the other, but which gave him both.
(T. T. Lynch.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.