Read Mark 12 at Bible Gateway.
Then they sent to Him some of the Pharisees and the Herodians, to catch Him in His words. When they had come, they said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and care about no one; for You do not regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Shall we pay, or shall we not pay?” But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why do you test Me? Bring Me a denarius that I may see it.” So they brought it. And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” And Jesus answered and said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at Him. Mar 12:13-17
Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood. Mar 12:41-44
While I was reading today’s chapter, I was thinking about the things that are Caesar’s, and the things that are God’s, and how this widow rendered to God the things that were God’s. That got me to thinking about the currency of the Kingdom – not the kingdoms of men, which are passing away, but the Kingdom of God.
The images and inscriptions on the money indicate whose kingdom the currency operates in. The denarius of Jesus’ day was inscribed with Caesar’s image and inscription, so the currency belonged to him. Our dollar bills and coins are inscribed with the portraits of our presidents, and “United States of America”, however the inscription still is, In God We Trust. Even with that, the currency still belongs to the kingdom of man.
Now God does not need to use the currency of the kingdoms of men in order to accomplish His work in the Kingdom of heaven. The widow put in, by the kingdom of man’s reckoning, two copper mites worth a fraction of a penny, and yet this was greater than all the other offerings put in. That is because treasure stored up in the Kingdom of heaven is not reckoned as treasure is in the kingdom of man. She put in all she had, so the treasure she stored up in the Kingdom of heaven was great (Mat 6:19-21).
So what is the currency of the Kingdom of heaven? I think it is just this: when we give all that we are and all that we have to YHVH, and back up those words with actions, we store up currency in the Kingdom of heaven. The scribes, whom Jesus told us to beware of (vs. 38-40), talked a great talk, but then devoured widows’ houses. Presumably, He meant that when the widows could not pay their rent, instead of forgiving their debt and providing for their need, the scribes took what they had and cast them out.
For those of us who are Abraham’s children, it is all about how can we be a blessing today (Gen 12:2)? What can we give today? We have a rich Daddy, who is rich in mercy and who owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Eph 2:4, Psa 50:10), so we can afford to be generous, LOL. It means more than giving money, although money sure plays an important part, because our hearts can be tied to it. But also, time, food, labor, talents, mercy, forgiveness, listening, respect, as well as money – these things are the currency of the Kingdom. Let our Vinedresser receive His fruit when He sends someone to us to collect it (Gal 5:22-23)!
And when we trade in those things, God increases the Kingdom to us. When the children came out of Egypt, their clothes did not wear out for 40 years and God provided water from the rock in the midst of the desert and manna from heaven. They did not need the currency of the kingdom of man. When Elijah was delivering the word of the Lord to Ahab, God sent a raven with meat and bread for him twice a day for three years. He did not need the currency of the kingdom of man. And when 5000 men, besides women and children, needed to eat after hearing Jesus teach all day, the disciples fed them with five loaves of bread and two fish. They did not need the currency of the kingdom of man.
So what do we do? Do not fear, little flock, it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom (Luk 12:32). Give Him all that you are and all that you have, and He will take care of the rest.
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