A CHILD'S LIFE OF JESUS

THE POOR WIDOW
Do you know what a widow is?  She is a
woman whose husband has died.  She often
has to go to work and support herself without
her husband's income.  

In the olden days of your great
grandparents, they called women who had
been divorced "grass widows."  That's
because they had no husband and had to
support themselves by themselves too.  You
probably know both kinds of widows.

In Jesus' day there was a widow we shall
call Tamar who was very poor.  She had a
hard time buying enough food and clothing for
her children.  They loved her anyway.

At the same time there were some very rich
Temple priests.  The high priest was so rich
that he lived in his own palace.

Not all priests were rich, of course.  Most
lived in ordinary houses like most people do.  
But those priests who worked at the Temple
all the time were rich.

One reason they were rich is because they
thought of extra ways to get people who
worshipped to give more money to the Temple.

Up until Jesus' time, people worshipped God
by cooking lamb and beef over a big open fire
called an altar.  Then the people would share
the food with the priests who then never had
to go grocery shopping.

But the Temple priests decided they wanted
more money for their bank accounts, so they
brought sheep and cows and birds to the
Temple to sell to worshippers.  

Everyone who lived in every city went to the
Temple sometimes to offer lamb or beef
sacrifices, so the Temple priests got more
and more money, and got more and more rich.

There were poor people who came to the
Temple and needed help with a house to live
in, clothing and food, but the rich priests
only helped them a little bit ~ poor people
like the widow Tamar.

One day Jesus saw how the priests had set
up a store in the Temple courtyard.  He
turned over the tables where they were
collecting money and ran all the animals out
of the Temple they had been selling.  He
said the Temple was supposed to be a place
of prayer, not a place to make money.

Right after that, the widow Tamar came.  
Jesus knows all about everyone and knew how
poor she was.  He watched her put her last
penny in the collection box at the Temple.

Jesus said that the widow gave more than
everyone else because she gave everything
she had.

           ***********
When you give the church or a needy friend
even a quarter when that is all the money
you have, in God's eyes, that is more than
when grownups give a dollar who have many
dollars.