CALL TO OBEDIENCE #337
Reimar A.C. Schultze
"There is a Treasury"
by Pastor Reimar A. C. Schultze
Then Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: many that were rich cast in much: and there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. He called unto him his disciples, and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow has 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 livingMark 12:41-44.
Now it says, Jesus sat over against the treasury. A Jewish Temple had a treasury, every church has a treasury. In Herod’s
I want you to know the treasury is God’s will. The treasury is a good thing. The treasury supports the ministry, it spreads the gospel, it teaches discipleship, it is used to visit the sick, and to heal the brokenhearted. Very few people ever ask about the treasury. How is the treasury? Is there enough money in it to meet the needs? I heard of a layman that each Sunday would inquire about the treasury. How much came in? And when it was not enough he would make up the difference. He took the whole burden of finances off the pastor’s heart.
Jesus sat over against the treasury, is our text. Jesus took time out of the Passion Week, just a few days before His crucifixion to observe the treasury. And he will observe the treasury until the end of time. When Jesus sat down at the right hand of his father his interest in the treasury continued. His interest in the treasury continues to this very day. Jesus, it says sat over against the treasury. Jesus watched how much money people put into the treasury; he watched what they did.
When the offering is being taken in your church it is not only recorded by the church treasurer but it is also recorded in heaven by an angelic secretary. Did you know that? I think you ought to know that.
Let me take you to chapter twenty verses 11-12 of the book of the Revelation. Here it says “and I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened, and another book was opened.”
I want you to notice here that there are two kinds of books in heaven: the one is the Book of Life. The names of all those who follow Jesus will be found in that book. But it also says that there are books. How many books? Well, there are as many books in heaven as there are people upon the face of the earth, yea, there is a book for everyone that ever lived on the earth! There is a book there on Adam and on Eve, on Cain and on Abel, on Joseph, on Hitler, on you and on me. Then “the books were opened… and the dead were judged out of those things, which were written in the books, according to their works” (Re 20:10). So, there is the Book of Life, one book. But then there is a book with your name on it, where everything you ever did is recorded, except what has been washed away by the blood of the Lamb after your repentance. For example, if you have been partying, it will be in your book. If you have been watching useless and ungodly television programs it will be in your book. If you have been faithful in prayer services it will be in your book. If you have spoken idle words, if you have been jesting, it will be in your book (Mt 12:36; Eph 5:4). If you have been missing church and spending your Sundays on the lake fishing it will be in your book. If you have found fault with your pastor it will be in your book. I want you to know that this is not an empty book. This book of yours is not an incomplete book; it does not leave anything out. And this means that what you put into the offering plate will be in your book also.
“Jesus sat over against the treasury and beheld how the people gave.” So, there is a treasury. Jesus watched what happened at the treasury. Jesus is the treasury. When you give into the treasury you give to Jesus. This is brought out in Jesus’ end time discourse (Mt. 25:37-40). When you feed the poor, or clothe them, when you visit the sick, and those in prison, when you supply finances for all of this to happen, you do it to Jesus. Friend, to fail to do this shall cause you to go into everlasting punishment (v.46). Now, you say to me, Pastor, I don’t like this kind of preaching. Well you better like it, because it will help you on Judgment Day. Do what Jesus tells you to do. He’s watching you. The heavenly scribes’ pens are busy every day.
Now also notice that often men give in proportion to what they have. It says, “And many that were rich cast in much.” Much here means plenty of coins. They did not have paper money in those days. They put in many coins and which was lots of money from an earthly perspective.
Then Jesus contrasts the giving of these rich people with the giving of the poor widow who put it two mites which make a farthing. A mite was the smallest denomination of money in those days. It was similar to a penny today, the least in value. In the Jewish canon, the Jewish law, no one was allowed to put any less than two mites into the offering plate. Two mites make a farthing. That was the minimal acceptable and it was all this woman had to give. What is the minimum today? Can you tell? Is it written in the book? Jesus says it is the tithe, that is the minimum that ought to be done (Lk. 11:42). Then you are encouraged to give above that as God has prospered you. If you give one half of the tithe it would have been like the widow giving just one mite. So the woman gave both mites, this would cut into her necessities the next day, into her milk and bread, into her fruits and vegetables. If she didn’t give that she would miss a blessing. Have you ever been in such a place? Have you ever heard people say that if they give it will cut into their necessities? How many people are there who say “giving cuts into my necessities, I’ll give once I have some extra to give?” Have you noticed that with these people the extra never arrives? They keep being poor no matter how hard they work. In fact the harder they work the more they get into debt, the more things break down. This widow gave out of her necessities. Is this getting into your heart? She gave all the cash she had. She had a “Jesus first no matter what” philosophy. Does Mathew 6:33 support that? Check it out.
Did Jesus say this woman was a fool? Did he say that she was acting irresponsibly? Did he chide her or did he commend her? Did he say that she would go deeper into poverty by having given of her necessity or did he imply that she was on the way to great blessings? Jesus was the son of God, a miracle worker who had and has the riches of all eternity at his disposal. Do you think he was going to let her down? You know the answers to these questions. Jesus was so blessed about this that he called his disciples together, and said to them, "Verily, I say unto you that this poor widow has cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury." Praise the Lord!
The rich men went back to their toys, their comforts, their empty superficial and unanointed lives. Their giving had no impact on heaven. It only rattled in the offering box and made an impression on their fellow men. That was all their reward. The woman went home blessed and no doubt doubly reimbursed by the Lord the next day. Her giving perhaps created a slight earthquake of joy, not far from the throne of God. You cannot out-give God! You do not get out of poverty by ceasing to give. “He which soweth sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (2 Cor. 9:6). When you stop giving you stop living, you just exist. The only way out is by giving to Jesus, by giving generously of your finances and of your whole life to Him.
Oh, what a Savior we have! A few days before he hung on the cross, he sat over against the treasury. Jesus cared about the treasury, do you?