Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-44
“She is not only the greatest giver of them all, she has cast in more than they all together, more, not in money value, but in moral worth. And what else, by giving such world-wide circulation to this her act, and this his sentence on it, did Jesus mean, than to give a world-wide circulation to the truth, that in his sight, in his Father’s sight, it is the motive which gives its true character to the act; that greatness in his estimate of things consists not in the doing of great acts that every eye must see, and that every tongue may be ready to praise, but in doing what may be little things, so small that they shall escape all human notice, and so insignificant that there may be none to think them worthy of any praise; but doing them in a great spirit, from a great motive, for a great and noble and holy end ? He is not the largest giver who, out of his abundance, and from many mixed motives, gives to this charity or to that, but he who, impelled by the pure love of God, and the desire to help on a good object, gives in largest relative proportion out of the surplus that remains to him after his own and his family’s wants have been provided for.”
William Hanna in The Passion Week (Edmonston & Douglas: Edinburgh, 1866) 138-139.