Some and All


In modern-day Christianity we give lip service to the idea of sacrificial giving, and there are many who, indeed, go above and beyond in their offerings to God. There are people who give, and then there are people who live their lives giving. We also speak about generosity of the heart and offering all of ourselves to God, but the woman in today’s passage actually did it. Her story should mess with us. Her sacrifice should unsettle and challenge us to think about the kind of givers we really are. Take her in like Jesus did, and let those two coins of hers clank down into your soul.

  • Do you view giving as an act of worship? Why or why not?


21:1 Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What did Jesus observe as he watched a stream of people deposit offerings into the temple treasury (vss. 1-2)? Why was the amount of the widow’s offering specified while the offerings of the other givers were not?
  2. What phrases are repeated in verses 2-4? How did Jesus contrast the gifts of the rich and the widow (vss. 3-4)? If you truly believed that Jesus observes your heart as you give, how would this affect your offerings to him? 
  3. Jesus explained that the wealthy and the widow gave “out of” something. From what state of existence did they give (vs. 4)? What did the widow’s gift communicate about the level of her trust and faith in God? 
  4. What was the financial situation of the widow when she walked into the temple? And when she left (vs.4)? Contemplate the consequence of her offering. 
  5. If giving is an act of worship, then what does your worship look like? Does the manner in which you give adequately reflect the trust you have in God’s provision for your life?


Notice that Jesus didn’t condemn the gifts of the rich. Instead, he elevated the near-worthless gift of an impoverished woman by saying that her “all” was more than their “some.” The widow’s offering teaches us that a sincere expression of faith and trust in God isn’t necessarily displayed in extravagance or abundance. God knows what our “everything” is and what we’ve held back from him. Giving is simply a matter of trust. And so, the question remains: do you trust God enough to give sacrificially?

  • Realizing that giving happens in many ways and not just monetarily, think about the different opportunities you have to contribute right now. Make a list of these things, and ask God to show you how to worship him sacrificially in these areas.