As someone who follows Jesus Christ, have you counted the cost? Have you done what the Lord requires of all of us, as His disciples? As we consider these questions, let us look upon the two great commandments. “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
We may claim that we Love the Lord. We may claim that we know Him. What does the Bible say on this subject? “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” – 1 John 2:3-6.
What does Jesus teach us about the New Covenant? “And he answered Jesus and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.” – Mark 10:20-21. “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:33. “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” – Luke 9:23. What does it mean to forsake everything? What does it mean to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him? Let’s now go back to the parable of the poor widow.
“And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” – Mark 12:41-44.
What is the difference between the people and the widow? What has she done that is so important, that the Lord had to point it out? Why do we need to know that she is a widow, and not just another old woman? And, what is it that she is giving, that is greater than all the others? Below, we will look at the meaning of the word “widow.” As well as the word “more.” Pay close attention to what is being said, and see what connections the Spirit can make inside of your temple, with your own understanding.
To begin with, we can see that a widow is one, who is figuratively lacking a husband. What does Paul tell us in Romans 7? “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” Remember, we are speaking upon the new covenant, or the New Testament. And, what Jesus is teaching us about the difference between the Old and the New.
“No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.“
As we previously looked at Luke 9:23, let’s look at it again. “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” What do the words deny, cross, and follow, mean in the original language? Let’s look, together.
We can see that the Lord is telling us to abstain by denying ourselves, and following Him, or more specifically, becoming like Him. As we have been given the parable of the new garment and the new wine, we almost certainly can see that our change doesn’t happen all at once. Yet, as we continue in Him, we let go of more of the person that we once were. As Jesus pointed out that she is a widow, and lacking a husband, we as the body of Christ need to be abstaining from sex with our spouse. It is our requirement for sanctification, and receiving His Spirit. It is part of the New Testament. “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication.” How am I 100% sure? Because Jesus said it, and He doesn’t lie. “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:33. “Deny yourself through abstinence and self denial daily, and accompany me as my disciple.”
Paul tells us, “Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
This poor widow cast in more than all of the others, the major portion. What is the major portion of our lives? What is it that we are doing with our free time? Are we learning of the Lord? Are we letting go of self? Are we forsaking all others? “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” – Matthew 11:28-29. “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” – Matthew 19:29.
Are you going out with your friends, living in this world? Are you focusing your attention on the media, next football game, movie, etc.? Are you shopping for no other reason, than to go shopping? Are you hanging out with the world and enjoying what it has to offer us? “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” – Romans 14:17. What else from the parable of the poor widow do we need to know in correlation to Jesus’ other teachings? In Mark 12:44, we are told this, “For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” Let’s see what it says below.
This poor widow, knowing that she was falling short, gave quite literally, her present state of existence. She gave the Lord her whole life. “One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.” – Mark 10:21. “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:33. “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” – Luke 9:23.
To love the Lord with all our heart, means to obey His commandments, and to do as He did. To love our neighbor as ourselves means to share the good news of the Gospel with them. Even if it comes with persecutions. Because, Jesus did precisely the same thing. “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.”
As the very fabric of this world is coming apart at the seams, we all need to strive each day, to do better than the day before. We all need to stand in the Truth and not be ashamed of it. “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” May the everlasting Father bless you in all things as you continue in Him. Read the previous posts, watch the videos, read the books. In general, all that the Lord has blessed me to receive, I have given you. “Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby most have entertained angels unawares.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, I said, ye are gods?”
Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner