Today’s reading is Luke 21.
Is it just me or does the story about the poor widow seem incomplete? Shouldn’t the story go on to tell us how she left the temple complex and found a denarius on the ground or a treasure in a field? Or perhaps she got home to discover a long lost relative had looked her up and was providing her a large living? Or perhaps someone overheard Jesus’s praise of the woman, followed her home, adopted her into his family, and cared for her the rest of her life? Yet, we don’t see any of that. What happened next? Did she get to go home and eat or did she go home and starve? Did she continue to live in her home or did it get devoured by one of the scribes? We don’t know. I know what we want. We want a nice tidy picture in which this woman sacrificed for God, giving away all she had to live on, and by the end of the episode everything works out nicely for her as she receives an immediate reward from God. But you know what might have happened? Like the rich fool of Jesus’s story in Luke 12:16-21, she might have gone home and God said to her, “Tonight your soul is required of you.” She might have gone home and starved to death. If this is the case, then this account actually connects to another passage that on the surface may not seem to be connected, but really is. Luke 12:8-9 says the one who denies Jesus before men, Jesus will deny before God’s angels or messengers. But the one who acknowledges Jesus before men, Jesus will acknowledge before God’s angels/messengers. This widow was not making a verbal confession, but she was acknowledging God. She was acknowledging God’s care and love. What did Jesus do? He acknowledged her before God’s disciples, that is, His messengers. What a foreshadowing of what would happen for this woman once she died whether it was from starvation that week or of natural causes 20 years later after God provided an extended living for her. The great reward is not in this life, but in the next. Jesus doesn’t give us what we want here. The message is not give a large proportion of your income to God and then get blessed financially from some strange and shocking location. The message is put your hope completely in God because there is more to life than what is going on here on earth. You don’t know what’s going to happen next. But you know that in this moment, the best thing you can do is glorify God.
Monday’s reading is Luke 22.Continue reading “What Happened Next?”