The Contents of our Discipleship
“Calling His disciples to Him, . . .” Mark 12:43
We do not define the terms of our discipleship, nor do we get to decide the extent of our service or sacrifice for His kingdom. The content and the cost of our discipleship is determined by Jesus and no one else. This is the truth the gospel of Mark is reiterating to his readers.
The purpose of the lesson of the widow’s mite was not to discredit the scribes for devouring widow’s houses, but to provide a model for discipleship. In contrast to the pretentiousness and put-on of the evil scribes, the widow provides a positive example of a sincere, devout and generous follower of Jesus.
By the world’s standard, Jesus’ declaration that the widow had given more than all that the rich had thrown in, is completely wrong. No one would have named a building or even a room in a building for the two cents she had contributed. On the other hand, churches and chapels are often named after wealthy contributors, not because of their character or care, but because of the contents of their checkbook.
Earlier, the disciples had been overwhelmed with the wealth of the temple, and now stand with Jesus watching many make a show of their offering. As a result, Jesus must explain why the poor widow’s offering is greater, even though smaller. Many who gave did so out of excess, they gave what they would not miss.
The widow gave out of her poverty. She showed her complete love and devotion to God by giving all she had. By her giving two small coins, it was as if she was sacrificing her own life. She is the embodiment of the cost of discipleship.
The widow’s action involves doing exactly what Jesus had asked the rich, young ruler to do. But, he would not obey Jesus’ command to give all he had. Her action follows what Jesus had taught His disciples. To love God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength and follow Him. This involves leaving security, family, plans and no less than everything.
In the widow’s sacrifice, Jesus saw Himself. He knew He too would give His entire life in love, delight and devotion as an offering to the Father.
Is your discipleship defined by you or by Jesus?