The Expository Files


 The Ruler and the Widow 

On one occasion, Jesus met a rich young ruler (Matt. 19:16-22). This young man claimed to have kept the commandments and asked Jesus what he had to do to inherit eternal life. This gives us the impression that he was a very devout fellow, but when Jesus tells him to sell all he has and give to the poor, and follow Him, the young ruler goes away sorrowful. He discovered that his devotion had its limitations. He was unwilling to go that far, and this is what Jesus wanted him to discover all along.

On another occasion Jesus watched a poor widow put a meager amount into the treasury of the temple (Mark 12:42-44). This small sum was all that she had and Jesus said that her gift, which appeared to be very small, was very great indeed.

Both of these accounts are really about the same thing, just from opposite directions. Trust and devotion made the difference. The ruler, though obedient in the past, could not bring himself to obey Christ on this occasion. He did not have adequate faith. Many of us are willing to put our faith in Christ up to a point, but place definite limitations on it all because there are other things more important to us.

The widow, however, was willing to place her very life and soul into Godís hand to do with as He saw fit. He was truly first in her heart. Some say everyone has his or her price, but this excellent lady did not!

By Jon W. Quinn
The Front Page
From Expository Files 19.9; September 2012