Luke 7:11-17; Mark 12:41-44
By Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer firstname.lastname@example.org
Ever go into someone’s office, important person, pictures on wall of all kinds of people they shook hands with? Suppose invited into office of JESUS, whose picture He put up?
I bet among them would be two nameless widows He met
WIDOW Alone, hard time financially, old, doesn’t fit in
Many women dread thinking of widowhood
Most end up being widows – hard life!
JESUS’ DAY: Much worse off, no government help
Women then had very few options, depended on men
Relative want to, have means to help her
If NONE: beggar, prostitute (career choices)
JESUS RAN INTO A WOMEN who just became widow
no bro-in-law, son or father!
I. RECEIVING GOD’S GRACE
WIDOW WITH DEAD SON
Luke 7:11 Jesus & disciples walking toward Nain
Funeral Procession: paid mourners in front, etc
Already dead: father, other children, husband
Lost: son, companion, support
Future: slowly starve unless others took pity on her
no real reason to live anyway
Feel sorry for her? Jesus did, too:
Lk 7:13 Ridiculous thing to tell her
insensitive thing to say!-unless had good reason to say it!
Lk 7:14aritually unclean — couldn’t go to temple, synagogue
Why touch it? Not have to touch to do miracle
Shows compassion, identification with her loss
Shows uncleanness not in outer ritual but in heart
Lk 7:14b People thought Jesus crazy!
1. Stops wedding procession
2. Touches coffin
3. Tells mother to not cry
4. Tells dead boy to get up!
Lk 7:15People MORE astonished when boy really did sit up!
What would you have thought had you been there?
WHY did Jesus do this?
-Response to woman’s great faith?
Didn’t know Him / believe, He didn’t ask her to
-Impress everyone around?
Not that many people there, other better times
-HIS HEART WENT OUT TO HER IN HER LOSS
GRACE GIFT She did nothing to earn or deserve it
He took away her hurt & loss
gave her a life and a future LOVE
200+ times in Bible
“Unmerited, undeserved favor”
Grace and mercy are optional with God
Holiness, justice, righteousness not optional
Goodness of God manifested toward the undeserving
Unlimited favor to the undeserving, all who by reason of transgression have forfeited every claim to divine favor and have lost all capacity for meritorious action.
Someone brutally murders your child, you get them freed, bring them into own home to live! = grace!!!
Power: OVER DEATH (son, self)
Luke 7:16-17GRACE: brought to God for salvation
not guilt, judgment, fear
but love, grace, mercy
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions- it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast. Eph. 2:4-9
There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Rom. 3:23-24
He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5
What if Jesus NOT there, son buried, widow alone? Grace???
II. RESPONDING TO GOD’S GRACE
WOMAN WITH 2 MITES
COURT OF WOMEN 13 “trumpets” to put offering in
Story starts with Jesus watching PEOPLE GIVE MONEY!
Mark 12:41God watches us worship: sing, pray, give!
Matt 6:21 where your treasure is, there your heart will be.
MOST GIVERS: play trumpets, slowly pour in coins (noise!)
Mk 12:42Smallest gift allowed – less too small to count
Jesus got all excited about her!!!
Mk 12:43-44 SHE GAVE: couldn’t give any less (not allowed)
couldn’t give any more (didn’t have it)
AMOUNT not what matters to Jesus
Jesus looks at what is left
Heart Attitude counts with Jesus
Not really ‘give’ if it doesn’t hurt!
WHY DID SHE GIVE IT?
Not make any difference among temple $ (not even buy 1 wick)
Intimidated by great givers all around
Feel inferior, not worth anything
Did God really need/care about 1/2 cent?
She needed it badly, for life itself!
Religious rulers corrupt, kept $ for selves!
Mark 12:38 Took offerings for selves
cheated, deceived widows, took advantage
WHY DID SHE GIVE?
Gave as unto God, not unto temple (church) etc
Show love and appreciation to God
WHAT DID SHE HAVE TO THANK GOD FOR?
Widow: very tough in those days
Poor: penniless, poverty level or worse
Future: go home to starve to death!
Must be something that caused her to give to God!
NOT: fear, guilt, bribe to God, etc.
BUT: love response to God’s grace in her life!
Came to express love to God
Gave in response to all God gave her
WHERE WAS GOD’S GRACE EVIDENT IN HER LIFE?
NOT in outer circumstances
BUT in inner contentment, peace, joy
Where do you look for God’s grace in your life?
OUTER: like widow whose son back to life
INNER: like this poor widow in Jerusalem
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Cor. 12:9
One of God’s faithful missionaries, Allen Gardiner, experienced
many physical difficulties and hardships throughout his service
to the Savior. Despite his troubles, he said, “While God gives
me strength, failure will not daunt me.” In 1851, at the age of
57, he died of disease and starvation while serving on Picton
Island at the southern tip of South America. When his body was
found, his diary lay nearby. It bore the record of hunger,
thirst, wounds, and loneliness. The last entry in his little
book showed the struggle of his shaking hand as he tried to write legibly. It read, “I am overwhelmed with a sense of the goodness of God.”
NO END TO GOD’S GRACE
Small fish in ocean afraid to drink water, didn’t want to use it up!
Poor man, someone sent some money when needed it, “more to follow” – got more each time needed it!