We all remember the time when Jesus stood with His disciples, watching people come and go, and putting money into the collection box for the temple. Then along came this poor widow, who put in two mites—a very small sum. The Bible even calls her a poor widow (Luke 21:2). But just how poor was she?
Luke calls her poor, the original word meaning “needy.” She didn’t have enough to make ends meet, and was in need of assistance. That was before she gave her two mites (which equate to 1/64th of a day’s wages—in other words, less than two dollars in today’s money). But after she gave that money to the Lord, Jesus uses a different word for poor (Luke 21:3). The word Jesus used means “reduced to begging,” or “completely destitute.”
In other words, when she came to the temple, she was poor. When she left, she was really poor—completely destitute and broke. And Luke makes that distinction for us. Did you know?
-Bradley S. Cobb