This passage is very familiar because it is the first recording of words spoken by Jesus. His statement, “How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” is made in reply to his mother who in exasperation from searching for him questioned his behavior. In today’s terms he would be telling her that she really didn’t need to search for him because she should know where he would be: going about his father’s business.
In the temple was a treasury where people would give offerings to God. The rich gave from their overflow. The widow, in spite of being financially short, gave anyway. From the text, it appears that she emptied her purse. Because of her poverty, she probably did not have any savings and after her offering was given, she was without any money and needed to trust The Lord and live by faith for her next meal and supply. Why did she give? Others were giving more. Why give in this manner when the amount given would not be recognized or make any significant difference? With all the wealth given, how much of a difference would her little bit make?
There are some things that God sees as sacred. Sacred is something that is set apart as holy unto God. The tabernacle was sacred as well as all of the items inside. Samson because of his Nazarite vow was sacred. The silver, gold, brass and iron of Jericho was consecrated or considered holy unto The Lord. In this passage, it was the temple. When The Lord arrived, it appeared that it was being used for every reason other than for what it was intended. There may have been offerings there, but the actions were mechanical and heartless. Greed, profit and the mundane ceremonial practices filled the place that was intended for heart communion with God.