You’re Never Insignificant

Sharon Jaynes Confidence in Christ, Living Fully, Never Less Than 16 Comments

If you’ve ever felt insignificant…this one’s for you!

One summer my family and I traveled to Yellowstone Park and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. One of our goals was to see as many unusual animals as possible. For us that was anything other than a dog, cat, or bird.

During the entire trip, we were on the lookout for moose, elk, buffalo, and other furry beasts with antlers. After several days we fell into the rhythm of looking for groupings of cars stopped alongside the road or crowds clustered in the woods. This signaled a sighting! As if holding up a neon sign, the assembly let us know we needed to stop. There was some magnificent creature we needed to see.

That’s what happened one day when Jesus was in the temple, but it wasn’t Himself He wanted people to see. It was a seemingly insignificant widow woman.

It happened during a Passover week when Jesus and His disciples went to Herod’s temple. The offering bins, or trumpets as they were called, were on the women’s level—the bottom level—number 1 of 5. That’s where Jesus went.

Mark tells us, “Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury (Mark 12:41).

There were 13 offering bins. Picture Jesus pulling up a chair by a certain offering box, knowing exactly which one the widow would come to.

One by one, wealthy attendees tossed their coins into the coffers, making as much noise as possible. But then, she came. A shabbily dressed, worn-down old woman. She timidly approached the offering box and gingerly placed her treasure among the coins. Two small copper coins—the smallest coins in circulation in Palestine—just a fraction of a penny. Two of these lepton, as they were called, were worth 1/64 of a denarius, a typical day’s wage. But in reality, her coins were worth more than any day’s wages. They were all she had—and Jesus knew it.

Do you ever feel that other people don’t really care about what is going on in your life? Do you feel insignificant in the grand scheme of things? I am sure this widow must have felt less than. I’m nothing. I have nothing. I am invisible to these men with flowing robes and tasseled garb.

Ever been there? I have. But she wasn’t insignificant or less than…not to Jesus.

“Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, 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 12:43-44).

The widow had two copper coins. I wonder what I would have done in the same situation. I think I would have been tempted to just give one to the temple treasury and keep one for myself.

But she gave all she had, fully trusting that God would take care of her every need. Commentators have pointed out that when Jesus said, “She out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had” (Luke 21:4), the word “livelihood” is the Greek word bios, which means she gave her life itself.

Imagine the picture: Jesus calls the disciples over to see the widow and her gift. Thirteen men gather round the offering box as Jesus shines the spotlight on this woman’s sacrificial act. Now, what else do you see? I see other people migrating to the scene like my family in Yellowstone.

“What’s so important?” “What’s going on?” “What are you men looking at?” Then Jesus lifts His hand and directs their attention to one of God’s magnificent creations. Ta-da!

She simply nods, smiles, and walks away. If they’d had a cell phone, I think they would have taken her picture!

Jesus has a way of making much out of a little. How precious that Jesus used the gift of a seemingly insignificant woman to teach the disciples a significant lesson. She became a “look and learn” example to this burly bunch of men—and to you and me.

While she might have felt worthless in the world’s eyes, she was priceless in God’s. And friend, so are you.

God, thank You for using seemingly insignificant people to do significant work. Thank You for shining the spotlight on women all through Jesus’ story. I pray You will show me ways that I can make a difference in someone’s life today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Who is one person that the world would consider insignificant who has made a significant difference in your life? Click comment and let’s share.

Sharon’s book, How Jesus Broke the Rules to Set You Free has been revised and updated! The new title is NEVER LESS THAN: Living Esteemed, Empowered, and Equipped When the World Tells You Otherwise. If you’ve ever felt less than because of your past, your present circumstances, or your gender as a woman then this book is for you! This is a message that your daughters and granddaughters need to hear.

Click here for a FREE download of 25 Ways Jesus Honored Women.

 

 

 

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Comments 16

  1. Professors are expected to stand on their degrees, while looking down on the staff that support them. Assumptions become rules, and if you break rules, you are reminded in subtle ways that “This is how you should be.” I broke rank and befriended a janitor, ignoring my colleagues’ steely looks and rumblings behind my back. Crystal was an amazing person, talented artist, and a true friend.

    I am sickened that institutions instill hierarchical status. I realize it’s common, but I know degrees and status mean very little, especially if they are used to separate and divide people.

    I can honestly say many of my intelligent, honest, and kind friends did not have degrees on their walls. One of them had beautiful, stunning drawings! When I went to her “closet” to chat, I felt like I was in a gallery of talent that didn’t require official stamps from a college.

    I never regret breaking socially biased rules, but I feel sad for those that chose to closet themselves in ego-pleasing status bubbles.

    1. I 100% agree with you! I read this and thought I’d somehow skipped over to the NY times “Medium” publication! You should submit a longer version if this to them! I feel pretty sure they’d publish it!

    2. This makes my heart so happy for you both. It also answers a prayer that I have struggled with for several years. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  2. I too work in higher education– and it is sad to see this still play out in 2022—along with other archaic ways of separating “us” and “them”..

  3. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made! God’s prized creations. We all have different talents, different purposes. All part of the body of Christ. All valuable! Chosen of God, holy and dearly loved. Colossians 3:12

  4. It’s so encouraging to know that Jesus sees all, and knows the accurate cost to attach to our sacrifices. The Lord is so good, and to think that He payed the highest price for our salvation, and still does not trivialize our ‘insignificant’ efforts.

  5. So often, I give to get. Not necessarily consciously, but nevertheless, in my moment of need, I point back to my giving and whine to God that he’s not keeping up his end of the bargain. What’s missing from this story is the moment when Jesus miraculously provides for the widow. It’s not mentioned. And I can’t help but think, where was her reward for trusting God with her last two coins? What did she get out of it? I feel God has more to reveal to my heart about this story and it’s purpose (as this is the second time today God has brought this verse before my eyes). I pray God will teach me to give generously of my time, talents, and finances without expectation of reward or payback. I pray I will trust God to provide for me in the way he sees fit to fulfill his purpose for me.

  6. In the past, I was a community employment specialist, helping people with disabilities get jobs. Although many would consider the disabled insignificant, I learned a great deal from them and was often inspired by watching them overcome obstacles to be successful. In many cases they were better workers than those without disabilities!

  7. My 4th grade Sunday school teacher told us she prayed daily that she would die, so she could be with Jesus. At that time I didn’t understand what she was talking about, but now after getting to know Jesus, I understand and I am ready to go to Jesus too! I am not sick, I just want to be with him! She seemed an insignificant person back then but her message stayed with me these 60 years. She was significant for me!

  8. November 30, 2021, I quit my job as a nurse… My husband and I, after many months of prayer, knew this was the right decision for me. However, this week, I am really struggling with just being at home.. I love being at home, but I am feeling like I don’t matter, that my life is no longer significant to those around me.
    What is it that GOD has for me, will my work, or life ever matter again? I know this game going on in my head, is of the DEVIL.. and he wants me to feel isolated and less worthy than what GOD says I am.. but its just hard.. GOD says I am worthy and loved..

    1. I too had to retire from being a preschool teacher (which I loved as my main job was to teach the Bible lessons to each age level); because of my husband’s failing health and also my broken ankle at that time. My husband now is with the Lord and my ankle praise Jesus is healed. So I went back to teaching Sunday School in the preK and Kindergarten.
      Would you maybe consider working/or volunteer at a Pregnancy Center which you would have much to offer.
      I will pray the Lords clear direction for you as you seek HIS will.

  9. Oh how I needed this! I am married to a narcissist, at one point in my life I almost forgot my name because I was addressed as “his wife “, not by my name. God has little ways of letting me know that I am seen, known and loved!

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