Jesus sat down across from the place where people put their temple offerings. He watched the crowd putting their money into the offering boxes. Many rich people threw large amounts into them.
But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins. They were worth much less than a penny.
Jesus asked his disciples to come to him. He said, “What I’m about to tell you is true. That poor widow has put more into the offering box than all the others. They all gave a lot because they are rich. But she gave even though she is poor. She put in everything she had. She gave all she had to live on.” – Mark 12:41-44
J. Vernon McGee was an eccentric (I mean that in the best way possible) preacher who always had interesting anecdotes to tell. He once told of a pastor who held a meeting to raise funds to build a new church building. The pastor asked each congregant what they would like to contribute. He got to the wealthiest member of the church, a local businessman, and asked, “And what can we put you down for?”
The man hesitated and said, “Well, I could probably put in the widow’s mite.” (A “mite” is what the New King James Version of the Bible calls the copper coins; very small copper coins worth a fraction of a penny.)
The pastor stood up excitedly and said, “Did ya hear that, everyone? Mr. Smith just said he’s going to fund the whole campaign! What a generous fellow!”
Mr. Smith immediately shot back at him. “What? I never said such a thing! I said I could give the widow’s mite!”
“Yes,” replied the pastor. “And that widow gave all she had!”
Jesus took notice of that widow. And we still talk about her today.