I’d like to share with you today a remarkable story. It’s a true story that really happened and teaches us valuable lessons about our lives today. I’d like to share this story with you because the memories we experience can be summarized to others as the life that we lived. As life is a gift, likewise these stories of the lives experienced by others are to be treasured. When we listen patiently with our heart and prepare a space in our minds to receive and process such treasure the value that we gain is immeasurable. You see, a story is a tool without limitation that continues to give to the workman who understands its application. Let’s prepare our minds to assess and digest the value from the story placed before us today.
This story is about an experience that Messiah describes. One day as Messiah sat teaching in the temple, he observed a priceless sight and expounded upon it to his Talmidiym (disciples) that were with him. We find this story in Besorah Marqus (Gospel of Mark) 12:41-44.
The Widow’s Offering
“And Yahusha sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called to him his Talmidiym, and said to them: Amein I say to you, That this poor widow has cast more in, than all they who have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, את even all her living.” -Besorah Marqus (Gospel of Mark) 12:41-44 את
Applying the Concept
In modern life today it’s common to focus on the things that we don’t have and, based off of our limited resources, justify what we don’t give. For those of us who profess to hold faith and worship the Creator, our lives exist as examples to all others of what such a commitment looks like. And to the people who do not believe in God, our lives are meant to serve as proof that we believe differently. Do we meditate on the instructions given to us by the Almighty and pursue to do them with diligence as we would to a king?
Let’s think through this hypothetically, but honestly. Take a moment and ask yourself….not considering any specific person, but just the role and title of…say president; if the President of the United States asked you to do something and explained the legal consequences you would have to face if you failed to comply, would you do as he asked? Let’s assume that his request is fully reasonable, absolutely lawful, and understandable to be asked of you as a person born in and living in the country of America. How quickly do you think you would obey his instruction? If you considered the legal ramifications of delay or not doing as he asked, do you think you would work even harder and faster to stay out of trouble with law enforcement and avoid court processes, possibly even jail time? I think that the majority of people who were born in and reside in this country of America would absolutely do as they were asked, considering that the request was reasonable and lawful…and most likely, they would get it done as quickly as possible.
Now, who is greater….a king or a God? What about THEE King of the Universe who created all that we see around us including ourselves and has lavished us with such love as to allow us to Worship Him, the ONE and only TRUE Elohai (God)? How much more should we obey his commands and hasten to fulfill his requests compared to anything a president or any man asks us to do? And yet if all those who claim to belong to Messiah and to worship Him do this, why then does He say: “And why do ye call me, Adonai, Adonai, (Lord, Lord) and do not do the things that I say?” -Besorah Luqas (Gospel of Luke) 6:46 את
Quite simply, there will be those…MANY scripture warns us in fact, that will claim that Messiah is their Adonai (Lord), their King, and the one they worship, and yet they do not treat Him as such because they do not keep His commands; they do not do as He says. Instead of serving Him as master, they seem to claim Him as fire insurance, proclaiming His name to keep them from the consequences that occur to those who do not follow the things His law commands. Or further still, perhaps they do follow His commands simply because they understand His law, but do not do it out of love but rather a sense of duty to technically mark off a check box that proves that they technically did what was asked, but all the while despising the acts they carry out….seeing them as strenuous or unnecessary rather than passionately hastening to do what is pleasing to the Most High, simply for the zealous desire to please Him.
Where am I going with all of this? In the story of, ‘the Widow’s Offering,’ while Messiah observes people casting what they have into the treasury of the temple, He saw that many cast in much and the widow cast in very little. He states that those who cast in much did so from the abundance that they had, but that the widow, who was poor and in need, cast in all she had…even all her living.
If you make $100K a year, then it’s easy to give $10K because it’s only 10% of what you’ve made. But if you only make $25K each year then $10K is almost half of everything you have to live off of for that year. Giving half of your wages is a much larger sacrifice than only giving 10%. It’s been said that time is money. When you work at a job, you trade time that you have to labor for your employer in exchange for an agreed amount of money for the time that you spend working. Considering the lesson Messiah is expounding upon to his Talmidiym (disciples) through the lens of time rather than money we can glean a few insights.
Taking a Deeper Look
Let’s consider a few members from one religious body…say maybe a body of Christian believers. Some people claim the title of Christian and reveal their commitment to live by their beliefs by attending seminary or bible college and obtaining a degree in divinity. Perhaps after they buy or open a church for others to come and gather to worship the Creator together. They may spend hours working on a sermon that they deliver each week in church. These acts seem to be giving a lot of time and resources to live by what they claim to believe from the Bible they profess to read.
Now let’s consider someone of the same body with the same claims, but perhaps one who appears to give less to the cause, so to speak. Some people claim the title of Christian and only attend church once a week on Sunday and they also tithe or give 10% of their income to the church that they attend. Maybe they even host a Bible study group once a month. These acts seem to be less than the choices made by the first type of person and yet look like they are greater sacrifices made than those who do not give anything or seek to spend any time in a body of believers who desire to worship the Creator together.
Now let’s think about someone who outwardly looks to give nothing to this religious body called the Christian Church. We’ll assume this person has no degree in theology and never went to bible college. They do not own a church building that they lease for others to worship because they have limited finances and they do not attend services at a church on a weekly basis, nor do they tithe or give a percentage of their money to any church. What this person does instead is read their bible daily and every moment that they are awake they meditate on the things written inside. They conduct themselves fairly upholding all of the characteristics of the Creator and ensuring that every choice made in their life are only those choices that show the love of the Most High to others and reflect His teachings because of the deep love they have for Him and the desire that they have to please Him. They stand up against slanderers and wrongdoers and protect the innocent from being misled and falsely taught about who Elohai (God) is…that they are not led astray or taken advantage of by others who claim to know Him but don’t reflect His love or live by His ways in their lives. And for every person that they see on the side of the road who is homeless, hungry, and perhaps even dirty from not having the luxury of a shower…the person that everyone they can see is walking by and won’t even give eye contact to….for this person who is being shunned for having nothing while others have much, they buy them a hot meal, sit with them as a friend and share with them all the amazing things they know about the one who created man in His image and loves them unconditionally as a family member. Outwardly, this person appears to have little and give less because only the Messiah can see that they have given everything. Nothing in their life is held back from Him. And it’s only for the joy of doing what will please Him.
As Messiah expounded to His Talmidiym (disciples) what He saw from watching the hearts and the minds of those who cast into the treasury at the temple on that day that He was teaching…this person, like the widow….cast in all their living. There is not a single thing in all of their lives that is held back from the desire to be pleasing in the sight of the Most High. They do not pursue wealth or fame or recognition for academics, and they are not misled by the teachings of any man because they immerse themselves in the words of their Master…being intimately familiar with His voice and think about His precepts day and night to show themselves approved workmen that can rightly divide the Word of truth.
Messiah says: “Therefore all things whatever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the Torah and the prophets. Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because narrow is the gate, and troublesome is the way, which leads to life, and few there be that find it.” -Besorah Mattithyahu (Gospel of Matthew) 7:12-14 את
If many follow the way of destruction and few find the way that leads to life then is it truly wise to follow the beaten path of faith that most pursue? Furthermore, how can anyone of faith confidently give portions of money, sections of time or certain aspects of their life in the pursuit of obtaining everlasting life and not be sorely disappointed? There are 3 parables that Messiah taught to explain this:
The Parable of the Hidden Treasure
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hid in a field; the kind when a man has found, he hides, and for joy thereof goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.” -Besorah Mattithyahu (Gospel of Matthew) 13:44 את
The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” -Besorah Mattithyahu (Gospel of Matthew) 13:45-46 את
The Parable of the Net
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” -Besorah Mattithyahu (Gospel of Matthew) 13:47-50 את
Such a treasure as eternal life can only be granted to those who give all of their living to obtaining it and are granted it still only by the love and mercy of the King of Kings and Adonai of Adonais (Lord of Lords). We have all been created with unique talents and have been given specific gifts and challenges throughout our individual lives that have supplied us with the ability to work for the Kingdom of the Most High! He has provided these things to us hoping to see that we will diligently use all we have been given to add to the Kingdom of Heaven and increase. Furthermore He is returning to give each man a reward according to the work he has done with his hands…whether it is good or bad; all will be repaid a harvest according to the seeds they’ve sown and the plants they’ve grown in their lives.
We can understand this concept through a parable Messiah taught called, ‘the Parable of the Talents.’
The Parable of the Talents
“For the Kingdom of Heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered to them his goods. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and dug in the earth, and hid his Adonai’s money. After a long time the Adonai of those servants came, and reckoned with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying: Adonai, you delivered to me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His Adonai said to him: Well done, good and faithful servant: you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter into the joy of your Adonai. He also that had received two talents came and said: Adonai, you delivered to me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His Adonai said to him: Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter into the joy of your Adonai. Then he that had received the one talent came and said: Adonai, I knew that you are a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the earth: lo, there you have what is yours. His Adonai answered and said to him: You wicked and slothful servant, you knew that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: You ought therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received my own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone that has shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that has not shall be taken away even that which he has. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” -Besorah Mattithyahu (Gospel of Matthew) 25:14-30 את
If the Almighty Creator designed all that we see including ourselves, wouldn’t He know best how to utilize the things that He made?
Once a long time ago, when I was on a very different journey than I am now, I felt like I heard a gentle and warm voice make a promise to me one day. The voice said: “Give all of your life to Me and I will give you life eternally.” It took me some time to understand what that meant and more time still to begin to do what the voice had asked, giving all of my life….in fact, I’m still learning how to live for the amazing promise given to me. But my life now looks completely different than it did then and it is filled with more wonder than I could imagine even in my sweetest dreams.
“I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of Elohai, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to Elohai, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of Elohai.” -Romaiym (Romans) 12:1-2 את
My friends, news stations today are broadcasting reports of weather, disaster, plagues, and famines of, “biblical proportions” many are calling them. Bible believers are shouting from podiums, websites, social media platforms, and through megaphones while walking through the streets of cities that we are in the end days. Governments around the world are warning their populations to be equipped with disaster and emergency supplies for the days coming ahead. Messiah warned His Talmidiym (disciples) that the end days would be like the days of Noah…that there would be wickedness that the world has never seen and will never see again, running rampant across the earth. Regardless of what faith you proclaim to hold, or who you are, it’s near impossible to ignore the signs of the times and the fact of the matter is that time is getting short….judgment day is drawing near, and all will be required to give an account. Are you prepared to meet the King of the Universe and answer Him as to why you spent the time that you had here the way that you did? What reward do you think will be given to you for your labor? Will it be joy and life eternal or will it be eternal shame and sorrow?
The time may be short and the hour very late, but it’s never too late for you to listen to that voice that pleaded with me so long ago….“Give your life to me and I will give you life eternally.” There is only one Good Shepard who knows the way up the mountain that sits in the height of heaven and can navigate all the pitfalls along the narrow winding road. The journey may look steep, but if you choose to give yourself to Him, and to live according to His way, the strength that you receive to summit that mountain will come from Him also and will carry you every step of the way to the very top.
Baraku Yahuah, ha’me’verach l’olam vaed, asher natan lanu ha’derek tsedaqah, b’devar.
Blessed are you Yahuah, forever and ever, for giving us the path of righteousness in your Word.
Thank you for sharing this time and encountering these stories with me. Shalom.