Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

The Widow's Offering

Mark 12:41-44

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - The Great Commission and Ascension (Matt 28:16-20; Acts 1:1-11)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2

Opening Prayer

Disciples Prepared - Review of Last Week (Luke 10:1-24)
    How did Jesus prepare His disciples for spreading His good news (gospel) after He left?
      Luke 10:1-2 = He sent them out two-by-two ahead of Him to cultivate the fields
    How did Jesus teach them to trust in God's provision while doing His work?
      Luke 10:3-4 = They went into dangerous territory without anything but faith
    How did God show His providence to build this trust in these workers?
      Luke 10:5-8 = Hosts took them in and provided for them

    With God on their side, were they guaranteed to produce a harvest everywhere they went?
      Luke 10:9-16 = No, some would accept and others would reject God's grace
    How did this experience turn out? Did the disciples see the hand of God in their harvest?
      Luke 10:17-20 = Yes, and they were thrilled by the empowerment
    Did the disciples have this success because they were well-trained and selectively chosen?
      Luke 10:21-24 = No, their selection and success were entirely by God's grace

Another Preparation (Luke 9:57-62)
    Besides trusting in God's provision, what other lesson did Jesus teach his harvest workers?
      Luke 18:18-25 = Giving their all, inc. themselves, to God's service - cost of discipleship
    How did Jesus make this point to a prospective worker before sending out the 70?
      Luke 9:57-58 = Know the costs before you join up; it isn't a life of luxury
    How did Jesus respond to the idea of someone picking a time to start working?
      Luke 9:59-60 = There will always be something to wait for, the committed do it now
    Can we take a part-time approach?
      Luke 9:61-62 = No, we should be fully committed or not at all

    Is this commitment to be a disciple a decision we make when we first become Christians?
      Luke 9:23 = No, we must decide to work for Jesus every day
    How much do we have to give to qualify as workers in Christ's harvest field?
      Luke 9:24-26 = Everything, our entire lives, our all
    Why would anyone even consider accepting such a difficult and costly mission?
      Luke 18:28-30 = Those who do will be repaid many-fold in life and with eternal life

The Widow's Offering (Mark 12:41-44)
    Where would Jesus find a good place to make an object lesson to His disciples on giving?
      Mark 12:41 = In the temple where offerings were given
    Thirteen "trumpets" (narrow top, wide bottom) were along the walls of the Court of the Women
      Each collected offerings for special temple purposes - wood, oil, incense, etc.
      Offerings were voluntary and showed devotion to God's Temple

    Did only the rich give these voluntary offerings since God had blessed them with extra?
      Mark 12:42 = No, even a poor widow (no source of income) gave of her poverty
    Lepton ("the thin one") - Smallest, lightest and lowest value Jewish coin of the time
      Two were worth less than a kodrantes - lowest value Roman coin of the time
      KJV: two mites, which make up a farthing - mite & farthing are old English coins
      Value of two lepta was worth less than one of today's pennies

    How did Jesus comment on the worthlessness of the gift of two lepta?
      Luke 12:43 = She gave more than all the others
    The others had obviously donated more money. How could Jesus say she gave more?
      Luke 12:44 = She gave her all, not just something that might be extra

Paul's Example (2 Corinthians 8)
    What example did Paul give to the Christians in Corinth to make this same point?
      2 Corinthians 8:1-5 = Poor Macedonians pleaded to give and gave beyond their ability
    Did Paul give this example to help the Corinthians consider making a gift to help other churches?
      2 Corinthians 8:8, 10-11 = They had pledged a year earlier but had not followed through
    What if their situations had changed and they couldn't meet their pledges?
      2 Corinthians 8:12 = They are to give as God provides

How Much? (2 Corinthians 9:7)
    How do we know how much God wants us to give? A tithe? More?
      2 Corinthians 9:7 = Each should give as guided by God
    But God really wants us to give a tithe or more, right?
      1 Samuel 16:7 = Man may look at the amount, but the Lord looks at the heart
    To help us determine how much to give, should we figure our budget to see what is available?
      Exodus 23:19a = No. We are to give of our firstfruits - before our other expenses

You Reap What You Sow (2 Corinthians 9:6, 11)
    Isn't it irresponsible to give before taking care of our own personal obligations?
      Proverbs 3:9-10 = Give your firstfruits and you will be blessed beyond expectations
    How does Paul put this?
      2 Corinthians 9:6 = Sow sparingly - reap sparingly; sow generously - reap generously
    Are these just nice sayings, or do we have such a promise from God?
      Luke 6:38 = The measure you use will be the measure used for you

    How does God respond to our returning from the firstfruits of what He has given us?
      Matthew 25:21 = Well done, good and faithful servant...faithful in few...give you many
    Why would God give us many blessings when we give as faithful servants?
      2 Corinthians 9:11 = So we can give more and grow in our generosity
    How do our gifts go beyond our gifts and the blessings we receive?
      2 Corinthians 9:12-15 = They fill needs and lead to praises to God and prayers for us

A Greater Example (2 Corinthians 8:9)
    What greater example of a life of giving than the widow and Macedonians do we have?
      2 Corinthians 8:9 = Jesus gave up His riches to be poor for our sakes
    Why does Paul say Jesus was rich?
      Haggai 2:8 = The silver and gold are the Lord's - Ex 19:5 says the world is the Lord's
    Sure, God the Father owns everything in the universe. Why does this mean Jesus was rich?
      John 16:15a = All that belongs to the Father is mine.

    What are some ways that Jesus, though He was rich, became poor?
      Luke 2:7 = Born in a "barn" and laid in a manger (feed trough)
      Luke 2:22, 24 = Sacrificed two birds instead of a lamb - allowed for poor parents
      Mark 6:3 = Carpenter; As oldest son, ran family business after father died (?)
      John 7:53-8:1 = Each went to his own home, Jesus went to Mt of Olives. - homeless
      John 12:14 = Borrowed a donkey for ride into Jerusalem - also boat, upper room, etc
      Matthew 27:59-60 = Buried in a borrowed tomb
    Why did Jesus have to give away His rightful riches and become poor for our sake?
      Hebrews 2:17 = He had to be made like His brothers in every way ... atonement

Examples of Giving (Acts 3:6)
    Without material wealth, how could Jesus serve as an example to us of how to give?
      Acts 3:6a = Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you.
    What are some examples of ways Jesus gave without having riches?
      Luke 9:16-17 = Fed 5000 with 5 loaves and two fish
      Matthew 8:25-26 = Gave protection and peace from fears in storm on sea
      Mark 6:56 = Gave healing to the sick
      Luke 5:20 = Gave forgiveness of sins
      Matthew 11:28-30 = Gave rest from burdens of life, fullness of life
      John 15:9, 11 = Love and joy

Greater Gifts
    What are some things Jesus gave that are especially important to us?
      Acts 1:8 = Power of the Spirit to share His good news with others
      Matthew 26:26-28 = Gave His body and blood for the forgiveness of sins
      John 16:7, 13 = Sent us the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth
      Luke 11:2-4 = Taught us to pray, to talk with our God
      John 10:28 = He gave us eternal life with Him

The Proper Attitude (John 13:1-17)
    When in His ministry did Jesus give the strongest object lesson of giving to His disciples?
      John 13:1-2 = Last hours before His arrest and crucifixion - not concerned for Himself
    What unheard of thing did Jesus do to teach His lesson?
      John 13:3-5 = Though above all, He took lowest form of foot-washing servant
    What happened when a disciple tried to stop Him from this improper act?
      John 13:6-11 = He made it clear that it was not only proper, but essential

    Did He make sure they understood the object lesson?
      John 13:12-17 = Yes. Live a life of giving of yourself to others and to God
    How should we determine when, what and how much to give?
      Ephesians 5:1-2 = Be imitators of God, give as Christ would give

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1998 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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