“Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?” – Luke 20:24
As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.
“Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” – Luke 21:1-4
The financial wizards of our country have concluded that the penny is no longer of monetary importance and will be removed from the coinage in the near future. Immediately, upon hearing and reading this news, my inner vision showed Richard Quest’s commercial. Quest is a business luminary for CNN and the commercial where a frustrated lady is looking through her purse for some lost item and in doing so she drops a penny. Along comes Richard and picks up the penny and gives it to the woman who scornfully refuses with a shove of her hand saying it is only a penny.
“Only a penny?” replied Quest with amazement. Then, he goes on to show examples of the power of the penny and concludes that at the end of the day, business was hugely successful. I just love that commercial. Ever since I was a little girl, I always picked up pennies. At one time I was short of nine pennies at the cashier in a food store. I just looked on the floor around me, and found that amount on the floor.
When VAT was added at 12 percent, I rolled 12 cents in a see-through little bag and tied a purple ribbon around it. I gave them out at the beginning of the year as a gift of God’s blessing for each month of the year. Does not 12 months make a year?
In our text from Luke, Jesus used the penny to get his point across when teachers of the law and the chief priests bribed some men to pretend they were sincere to trap Jesus. They said “Teacher, we know that what you say and preach is right. We know that you pay no attention to anyone’s status but teach the truth about God’s will for people. Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar or no?”
But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, “Why, tempt ye me? Shew me a penny. He did not say show me a pound!” Then, we have in Luke 21:1-4 how Jesus, in the temple, looked around and saw rich people dropping their gifts in the temple treasury. He also saw a very poor widow dropping in two little copper coins. He said, “I tell you that this poor widow put in more than all the others. For the others offered their gifts from what they had to spare of other riches, but she, poor as she is gave all she had to live on.”
Wow! Wisdom comes from God and Jesus spoke in parables to simply put the dynamics of the kingdom so that even the poor in spirit or earthly possessions, may be able to understand it.
So, when the penny, which represents the foundation of the monetary pyramid be taken away, what are we to build upon. I understand that in casinos, they have a one cent slot machine and people gain hundreds of dollars from it! So, is the great United States of America going to also get rid of the simple penny or are we to use their penny! Most items in America are priced to reflect the dollar followed by 99 cents and the penny in change is never withheld; neither can you owe a penny!
The penny is regarded as poverty or the status of the poor; but Jesus said that the poor will always be with you. So, to remove the penny is not to isolate the poor but to get rid of the poor. To do so will mean that heaven and earth will pass away, because his Words have no value and there will be no more nothing.
I write out of the depths of my spirit, not on my merit of being financially savvy, but at the end of the day, Jesus’ parables represented the lowest of senses – common sense. In Sunday school we sing that love is like a magic penny and if you hold it back you won’t get any. So, love is also caught up in this dilemma. If the foundation be removed, where will the righteous be?