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.
And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
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:
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.
Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him,
Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,
Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:
But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.
Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee.
Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.
For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.
And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:
But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.
And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.
And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
And they went out, and preached that men should repent.
And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.
When you are asked to give for the victims of a natural disaster, for the progress of the gospel, for the support of a ministry or a missionary couple, how do you give? Do you think that it would be irresponsible to give not knowing how you will pay your next grocery bill? Are we sometimes focused too much on the bottom line, making sure that we are wise and thrifty in our own eyes, rather than listening to the Lord? Is it difficult for you to think about withdrawing a large sum from your investment account, where it’s making money, and send it to be spent by an organization in need? Is it difficult to think about giving up something you enjoy so that you could provide a need for someone else?
What can you learn from the radical examples of giving in the passages you read today? Concerning the John passage, think through the worth of the perfume, Judas’ response, and Jesus’ response.
What did God say in the Deuteronomy passage?
Is there a poor man with you or near you? Is there anyone you know who struggles and whose burden would be eased by what would be a small portion of your wealth but for them huge assistance? What do the people around you need? Is there a family right in your Bible study who has need of a car or clothing or even help with their monthly food bill? Do you know who they are? Do you want to know? Will you be observant and ask the Lord to show you?
In Mark 6 Jesus instructed the twelve. Imagine yourself among them and that He is speaking to you. What crosses your mind when you hear Him tell the apostles to take no money in their belt? What is Jesus saying in between the lines about trusting God to provide? How might this passage be applied to your daily call to the great commission and how you see money and resources?