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?
Because the Lord commends her giving, her motive for providing such an offering could only have come from right motives. Truly spiritual motives for giving are empathy, obedience and love. Had the offering been used for the poor, then it would be reasonable to think that her motivation could have been from empathy, but the gifts were to be used for various purposes including servicing the temple and not just caring for the poor.
Obedience could possibly have been the motive, but most likely was not the case. In Luke 17:7-10, Jesus teaches that servants are not commended for tasks that they complete in obedience to commands of their masters. Therefore, the reasonable explanation for the widow giving so sacrificially to the point of dependency upon The Lord for her own needs to be met, could only have been motivated by love.
Love: the sacrificial desire to meet the needs of those loved. This definition describes the widow. The great question to ask is, does this definition describe you? Ask yourself, “Why do I do the things I do? Is it out of responsibility or love? Is it for what I can get back or is it from love? Is it because of who is watching or is it love? Is it because of fear or is it love?”
Christ demonstrated the greatest act of love by becoming our sin bearer. He sacrificed for what we needed. We must do the same. We must live as he lived, love as he has loved and die to self or our own desires. In doing so, we become a living testimony of his work of love in our lives.