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Luke 21:1-4

Sunday Morning Bible Study

February 19, 2017


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular: 2900 words Communion: 2500 words Video=75wpm

Financial Report – Steve Silagi

Luke was a doctor and a travelling companion of the apostle Paul.

He wrote this book while Paul was in prison.

In writing this book about Jesus, Luke made use of other older documents like the Gospel of Mark, as well as extensive eyewitness accounts.

Jesus’ ministry is well under way, and the people have been amazed not just at the things He’s been teaching, but the things He’s been doing.

We are now on the homestretch of Jesus’ ministry.

Jesus is now in Jerusalem, on His way to be crucified.

Luke has reminded us of what Jesus’ main purpose was in life:

(Luke 19:10 NKJV) for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

We saw Jesus arrive in Jerusalem on a Sunday, to the shouts of an adoring crowd, crying “Hosanna”.

The next morning, on Monday, Jesus came into the Temple and cleared out those who were ripping the people off.

Some of those who were taking advantage of the people were the money changers.

They would take the secular Roman money people wanted to donate to the Temple, and exchange it for acceptable silver Temple shekels. They charged exorbitant rates to exchange the money.

He then began to teach in the Temple, as He would every day until He would be arrested.

As He’s been teaching, He’s been talking about money.
He told the Herodians to pay their taxes.
He rebuked the Pharisees for their greed in taking advantage of the poor,

(Luke 20:47 NKJV) who devour widows’ houses…

21:1-4 Widow’s Mites

:1 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury,

He looked upanablepo – to look up

puttingballo – to throw or let go of a thing without caring where it falls; to put into, insert

giftsdoron – a gift, present; refers to a present yet not always gratuitous or wholly unsuggestive of recompense

:1 putting their gifts into the treasury

the treasurygazophulakion (“royal treasury” + “to guard”) – a repository of treasure

It is used to describe the apartments constructed in the courts of the temple, in which not only the sacred offerings and things needful for the service were kept, but in which the priests, etc, dwelt: #Ne 13:7 of the sacred treasury in which not only treasure but also public records were stored, and the property of widows and orphans was deposited. Josephus speaks of treasuries in the women’s court of Herod’s temple. In the NT near the treasury seems to be used of that receptacle mentioned by the rabbis to which were fitted thirteen chests or boxes, i.e. trumpets, so called from their shape, and into which were put the contributions made voluntarily or paid yearly by the Jews for the service of the temple and the support of the poor.

The treasury was where people gave their money at the Temple.

It was located in the Court of Women, open to all Jews, men and women.
This also happens to be where Jesus taught, when He taught at the Temple.
At the “treasury”, there were thirteen chests with trumpet shaped tubes that funneled the money into the chests.
This might have been what Jesus was referring to when He said,
(Matthew 6:2 NKJV) Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
Some have suggested that the Pharisees made a point of dropping one coin after another to make the most noise and get the most attention when they gave.

the richplousios – wealthy, abounding in material resources

:2 and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites.

widowchera – a widow

poorpenichros – needy, poor

frompenes – poor

It speaks of a person who is so poor that they have to earn their bread by daily labor. It is not a person who begs for a living.

:2 putting in two mites

miteslepton – a small brass coin

This type of coin dates back to the time of Alexander the Great (336-323 BC)

On one of the Israel trips, we picked up one mounted in a necklace.  (Note: the actual coin does NOT have any gold around it, or a gold chain!)

A lepton could buy you a bath at the public bathhouse, or maybe a few slices of bread.

The silver denarius was worth a day’s wages. The lepton was worth 1/128th of a denarius.

The annual “temple tax” was one half-shekel per year.

The silver half-shekel and silver shekel were the only coins accepted for the annual “temple tax”. This was money-changer stuff.
A lepton was worth 1/256th of a half-shekel.

Every once in a while someone drops a bunch of coins into the offering at church, and for those who count the offerings, and then take it to the bank for deposit, coins sometimes seem more trouble than they’re worth, especially since the ATMs don’t take coins for deposit.

What this woman was putting in was probably more of a nuisance to those who collected the money than it was of any actual financial benefit to the Temple. But …

:3 So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all;

poorptochos – reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms; destitute of wealth, influence, position, honor

:3 more than all

This doesn’t mean that Jesus thinks she gave more than any other single person, but that she gave more than all of them combined.

:4 for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”

abundanceperisseuo – to exceed a fixed number of measure, to be left over and above a certain number or measure

offeringsdoron – a gift, present; refers to a present yet not always gratuitous or wholly unsuggestive of recompense

povertyhusterema – deficiency, that which is lacking; in reference to property and resources, poverty, want, destitution

livelihoodbios – life; that by which life is sustained, resources, wealth, goods

:3 this poor widow has put in more than all


Touchy subject

I think that the subject of giving money is one of the most difficult things to talk about in church.
Some of you are already wired to think, “Churches are only out for your money”.

And to be honest, that is the way that some churches operate.

I was watching a video the other day of two famous televangelists talking about why they needed their private jets.

Some people don’t like hearing about money because they don’t want anyone telling them what to do with their money.
My intent this morning is to try and give you a Biblical perspective on the subject of giving.
On a side note:
Though I am aware of how much is given each week in the offering, I prefer not to know who gives how much, so please don’t come up to me later and tell me about your tithing or not tithing.  Talk to God about it.
And as you have heard from our Treasurer’s report this morning, we are doing very well financially.

I’m not talking about money today because we need money, because we don’t.



The word “tithe” means a “tenth”. The concept is that a person “tithes” when they give one tenth of their income away.
1.     Before Moses
Some people will say that since we are New Testament believers, and not under the Law of Moses, that we no longer need to “tithe”.
The concept of “tithing” predates the Law of Moses.
After Abraham rescued his nephew Lot from the marauding kings of the east, he met a mysterious fellow:

(Genesis 14:18–20 NKJV) —18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. 19 And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all.

Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils to Melchizedek.

2. Jesus approved tithing
Jesus implied that tithing was still important.
(Matthew 23:23 NKJV) “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.

Jesus didn’t rebuke the Pharisees for their tithing.

His rebuke was that they were so caught up in their tithing that they ignored more weightier things like justice, mercy, and faith.

3. God’s property
(Malachi 3:8–10 NKJV) —8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.

This is the only place I know where God challenges you to put Him to the test.

When you choose not to give a tenth of your income (whether it’s to this church or wherever), you are actually holding on to money that God considers to be His.

If you are going to get serious about tithing, it’s best to learn to give God His 10% first, before you look at all the other things you’re going to spend your money on.

Video: God’s Pie

It’s not that God is poor and needs your money.

Part of tithing is the process of learning to trust God in all things, and obey Him.

Some of you are thinking, “I could never afford to tithe”.

You are saying to God that you don’t believe He can take care of you when you do things His way.

It’s the same principle when it comes to sin in your life.

Initially you thought, “I could never live without doing this particular sin”. And then you did what God said, and you are still alive.

Trust what God says. Do what God says.

4. Financial difficulties
Some financial difficulties stem from not tithing.
The prophet Haggai’s ministry was after the people had returned from the Babylonian captivity, but the project to rebuilt the Temple had gotten stalled.

At the same time, the people were going through their own personal financial troubles.

(Haggai 1:6 NLT) You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!

God points out that the people had been more concerned about their own personal financial issues rather than paying attention to what God had been prompting them to do.

God was letting them experience frustration to get their attention and get them back on track.

Tithing is truly a step of faith.

How is it that if I give away 1/10 of my income, my needs can be met?

My wife and I learned to tithe a long, long time ago, and we have found that God has taken care of us.

Video: BelAirDrama – Eye of the Tither


Jesus Style Giving

Though I personally think that tithing is a place to start when it comes to giving, don’t be quick about patting yourself on the back if you are a tither.
You’ve only just begun to learn what giving is all about.
Remember Jesus said,
(Luke 21:3 NKJV) “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all

In the original Greek, Jesus isn’t saying that she gave more than any other single person, but that she gave more than all of them combined.

It wasn’t the actual amount that mattered, but the proportion that she gave.

She didn’t give from what was left over, but she gave all.

This is how Jesus gives.
(2 Corinthians 8:9 NKJV) For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

The word “grace” is the idea of a freely given “gift”.

Jesus had all the riches of heaven at His disposal, yet He chose to empty Himself, take on human flesh, and even die an undeserved criminal’s death to pay for our sins, all so that we could inherit the riches of heaven.

When we learn to give, we’re learning about the very nature of God.
God is a giver.

(John 3:16 NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

God loved you so much He gave His Son.

Just a word of caution:

There will be some here who will think that God is now telling them to empty their bank accounts and give it all away.

On more than one occasion we’ve had folks who will inform me that they’ve given a substantial gift to the church, only to ask the church for financial help a few months later.

I personally think those were examples of someone responding emotionally to this story rather than honestly hearing from God about their giving.


How to give

Paul was writing to the Corinthians about a collection he was taking up from all the churches in order to support the church in Jerusalem which was going through a difficult time.
The Corinthians were a wealthy church, and Paul instructed them to learn how to give by paying attention to the Macedonians, who were a poor church. Paul laid out several principles that are helpful.
1. Give yourself to God
Before you can learn to give money properly, you need to get your heart right with God.
Paul wrote about the Macedonians:

(2 Corinthians 8:5 NKJV) And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.

Don’t think that giving money will make you right before God. You’ve got it backward.

Get yourself right with God first, and then you can figure out the giving stuff.

2. Plan ahead
Paul went on to lay out some general principles,
(2 Corinthians 9:7 NKJV) So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

purposesproeretai - to take by choice, to choose beforehand.

It is only found here.

Lit. “Let each one do just as he has chosen before and still desires to do...”

Though there are going to be times when you need to respond in the moment, for the most part giving ought to be something you think through ahead of time.

It is something that you and God have taken time to work through together.

3. No arm-twisting
Paul used the phrase, “not grudgingly or of necessity
not grudginglylupes – pain of body or mind, grief, sorrow

It might not be the actual amount that causes “pain” (as in, “give until it hurts”), but the fact that you have to give up something at all.

Have you ever had someone give you a gift, and then later complain about how hard it has been to live without that thing they gave you? Tell them to keep it!

of necessityanagkes – to be compelled; force, violence.
When someone is trying to manipulate you into giving by telling you that it is absolutely necessary, there may be a problem.

It’s not wrong for a church to share that there is a need – that’s what Paul is doing with the Corinthians.

It’s when arm-twisting is involved that there’s a problem.

Like the preacher who threatens that God’s work is going to stop unless you give them more money.

Like the person who tells you that you must not be a very good Christian unless you give them $20.

4. Attitude
Paul wrote that, “God loves a cheerful giver
cheerfulhilaron (“hilarious”) – cheerful, joyful, glad

It is the opposite of grumbling.

Isn’t it sad that in some churches the most somber point of the worship service is when the plate is passed during the offering?

This is why I often remind you, “If you don’t want to give, don’t

Get your heart in the right place so that giving is a joy, not a drag.

When we get our act together with giving, look at what Paul promised the Corinthians:
(2 Corinthians 9:8 NLT) And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.

When you are sensitive to God’s leading in the area of giving, God will take care of you and allow you to keep giving to others.

God wants us to develop a culture of generosity, not greed.


Financial contentment

Or, learn to live within your means.
Here’s another reason people get into financial trouble.
Paul warned about the lust people develop when it comes to their money.
(1 Timothy 6:9–10 NKJV) —9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

It’s not money that’s the root of all kinds of evil, but the love of money.

Cultivating a materialistic mindset of wanting the best stuff and more stuff, will end up giving you a life of grief.

For some people, all they live for is money. Even in the church.  And sometimes that causes problems.


A guy from Tyson Foods arranges to visit the Pope. After receiving the papal blessing he whispers, “Your Eminence, do we have a deal for you. If you change The Lord’s Prayer from ‘give us this day our daily bread....’ to ‘give us this day our daily chicken....’ we will donate $500 million dollars to the Church”. The Pope responds saying, “That is impossible. The Prayer must not be changed”. “Well,” says the Tyson man, “we are prepared to donate $1billion to the Church if you change the Lord’s Prayer from ‘give us this day our daily bread....’ to ‘give us this day our daily chicken....” Again the Pope replies “That is impossible. The Prayer must not be changed”. Finally, the Tyson guy says, “This is our last offer. We will donate $5 billion to the church if you change the Lord’s Prayer from give us this day our daily bread....’ to ‘give us this day our daily chicken....’” and he leaves. Next day the Pope meets with the College of Cardinals to say that he has good news and bad news. “The good news is that the Church has come into $5 billion”. “The bad news is that we are losing The Wonderbread Account”.

The antidote for the “love of money” is to learn to be content in your current financial condition.  Paul wrote,
(Philippians 4:10–13 NKJV) —10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

It’s when we aren’t content with our circumstances that we tend to get ourselves in over our head with debt.

It’s not a natural thing to be “content”, it is natural to want “more”.

Yet we can do it through Christ who strengthens us.        

Practical idea:  Add this to your prayer list – “Finances – provision & stewardship”.  As you learn to pray for this every day, think about what it means and ask God to be teaching you.


Not always all

A week ago I had a phone call from an elderly gentleman from Florida who said he wanted to be saved and find a church to attend.
I sensed a trap.
After I got a few words in, he began to interrupt me and tell me that I was wrong, and that all churches were wrong, and that you can’t be saved unless you sell all your property and give all your money away.
Jesus did say this to one individual, the “rich young ruler”. (Luke 18:22)

(Luke 18:22 NKJV) —22 So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

Early in the book of acts, many were indeed selling their property and giving it to the church so that everyone’s needs could be met. (Acts 4:34-35)

(Acts 4:34–35 NKJV) —34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.

But Jesus didn’t tell everyone to sell everything.

When Zacchaeus the tax collector met Jesus, he told Jesus:

(Luke 19:8 NKJV) Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”

Jesus responded by saying that Zacchaeus had found salvation.

Paul told Timothy to instruct wealthy people:

(1 Timothy 6:17–19 NKJV) —17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.