The Foolish Widow
by Ronald W Robey
(written December 16, 2015)

Luke 20:45 (KJV) 45 Then in the audience of all the people he said unto his disciples,

In the audience of all the people, i.e.; in the hearing of all the people, Jesus spoke. All who were there could hear His words, both the rich who cast in their gifts, and the widow who cast her entire living into the treasury receptacle were within range of His voice.

Luke 20:46 (KJV) 46 Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts;

Luke 20:47 (KJV) 47 Which devour widows’ houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.

The people in attendance heard the warning Jesus had just delivered to the disciples. They were made aware that the scribes were thieves, preying on widows. They were made aware that the scribes were a condemned lot.

The word “devour” means “forcibly appropriate.” The scribes, who were interpreters of the Law, (today’s equivalent would be our Supreme Court Justices) were forcibly putting widows on the street… taking their homes away from them.

Luke 21:1 (KJV) 1 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.

There is no great time frame indicated between the delivery of His warning and His looking up and seeing the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. He spoke, He sat down, (Mark 12:41) He looked up.

Luke 21:2 (KJV) 2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.

Here was a poor widow who had just heard Jesus’ warning that scribes were robbing widows houses. (and no doubt, may have been made poor by the scribes that Jesus was warning of)

And yet, she chose to ignore Jesus’ warning. She rejected the words of the One who would soon put an end to all sacrifice for sin. She instead gave her last two coins into the very treasury of the men that Jesus was warning of just moments earlier.

Sounds cultic, to some degree. Cult followers will ignore any warnings from outsiders who are trying to rescue them from danger. This widow chose to continue to give to the corrupt system despite the fact that she would be losing her home to the leaders of that system.

Luke 21:3 (KJV) 3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:

Luke 21:4 (KJV) 4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

According to Mark 12:43, Jesus spoke this to His disciples. Did the rest of those in the Temple hear these words as they had the warning? We are not told. The text in Mark states that Jesus called the disciples unto Himself, so it is possible that these words were spoken privately, i.e.; only the disciples hearing.

Many sermons have been built upon the event of Luke 21:1-4 over the years. Sermons constructed to boost Church funds by convincing people that it is good to give much to the Church. Sermons which paint the widow’s actions that day as bein good and commendable.

However, there is no commendation of the widow in the text at all. It cannot be possible that Jesus Christ would first expose the corrupt religious system and its thieving Staff, and then turn around and praise a widow who chose to ignore His warning and instead foolishly put all her living into the coffers of that corrupt system.

Seeing the seeming cultic behavior of the widow, (ignoring the warnings from outsiders) I am once again reminded of a woe levied upon the scribes and Pharisees by Jesus that day,…

Matthew 23:15 (KJV) 15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

The widow had been made a proselyte of the religious leaders. She chose to ignore Jesus’ warning. The corrupt religious system had her fully brainwashed into believing she was giving into the offerings of God, when in reality, they were robbing her of all her living.