v. 1-4 "As He looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins." He told those with Him, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on." Jesus was in an area of the temple call the court of women. This is where the treasury was supposed to be located. There were boxes in which worshippers could deposit their temple tax and boxes for freewill offerings. It sounds like she was giving a free will offering. Widows did not have the means to go out and make a lot of money so Jesus was pointing out her great sacrifice to give the money that she was supposed to live on. She gave willingly. Jesus was not impressed with what the wealthy gave because it was out of their wealth, this woman gave out of sacrifice and obedience. It is wonderful when wealthy people give a great amount of money, but they usually do not give so much that they have to severely cut back their lifestyle. If those rich people put 10% of their money into the offering box they must have felt good. How much more did this woman feel for putting in 100%? The requirement by the law was 10% so anything over that would be more of a love offering. If we think that just giving 10% will be a great accomplishment we resemble those rich people in the temple. This does not just apply to money. The gifts God has given should be shared with a free will not thinking it is some sort of obligation. Are you using the gifts God gave you for only the 10% offering or are you going beyond?
"Here, Jesus was admiring generous and sacrificial giving. As believers, we should consider increasing our giving-whether of money, time or talents-to a point beyond convenience or comfort." NIV notes
v. 5-19 The disciples were saying how beautiful the temple was and commented on the gifts that were being dedicating to God. Jesus replied, "As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another, everyone of them will be thrown down." They asked Jesus, "When will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?" Jesus replied, "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in My name, claiming, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of My name. This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, an they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of Me. But not a hair on your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life."
The disciples were admiring the temple, but Jesus saw destruction in it's future. Do not let looks deceive you. The outside may be nice, but the inside could be rotten to the core. The disciples wanted to know when these events would happen. We would love to know when things were going to happen in our lives, but then how would we rely on God if that were the case. Jesus did not tell them the time frame only that they were supposed to keep from being deceived. There have been so many in history who thought they were Jesus and were only a puppet for the enemy. We are not supposed to follow them. The bible says that ALL will know when Jesus comes back so until then, disregard all others as false. We are not to be scared when war or fighting is going on, we should turn to Him for comfort. Until the end there will be war, the bible says this many times. There will be great natural disasters around the world and fearful events, but Jesus says that there will be great signs from heaven. That part is exciting, great signs from God! Maybe those are to show us His love during those times of turmoil. Jesus told the disciples what it would cost them to follow Him once He was gone. He gave warning that people that follow Him will be betrayed by their others at some point in time. If people turn on you because of Jesus then you are on the right path. Jesus says that all men will hate us because we choose to follow Him. Being a Christian in some places can result in death or prison. This price is not too high because the alternative is unthinkable. Being a Christian is hard sometimes, but I would rather go through some bad days with God than the best days without Him. When Jesus said that not a hair on their heads would perish, He did not mean on earth, but through all of eternity. If you stand tall against defiance then you will gain life.