A poor widow
Two small copper coins.”
εἶδεν δέ τινα χήραν πενιχρὰν βάλλουσαν ἐκεῖ λεπτὰ δύο,
Luke indicated that Jesus saw a poor widow (εἶδεν δέ τινα χήραν πενιχρὰν) put in two small copper coins (βάλλουσαν ἐκεῖ λεπτὰ δύο). Only Mark, chapter 12:42, has something similar, since Matthew did not mention this incident. Mark indicated that Jesus said that this one poor widow came to the treasury (καὶ ἐλθοῦσα μία χήρα πτωχὴ). She put in two small copper coins (ἔβαλεν λεπτὰ δύο). A λεπτὰ “lepton” copper coin was the smallest Greek coin and often called a “mite”. Two of these “lepton” copper coins was worth a penny or a κοδράντης (ὅ ἐστιν κοδράντης). This κοδράντης “quadrans” was the smallest Roman copper coin. This was a very small amount of money that this poor widow put into the Temple treasury. Do you give pennies away?
“Are not five sparrows
Sold for two pennies?
Yet not one of them
In God’s sight.”
οὐχὶ πέντε στρουθία πωλοῦνται ἀσσαρίων δύο; καὶ ἓν ἐξ αὐτῶν οὐκ ἔστιν ἐπιλελησμένον ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ.
Luke indicated that Jesus asked them about the value of 5 sparrows. Jesus said these sparrows were sold for two pennies or assarions (οὐχὶ πέντε στρουθία πωλοῦνται ἀσσαρίων δύο). This Roman Empire Greek “assarion” coin (ἀσσαρίων) was worth about 2 cents. So, this total would have been about 4 cents. Yet none of them are forgotten or neglected (καὶ ἓν ἐξ αὐτῶν οὐκ ἔστιν ἐπιλελησμένον) in God’s sight (ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ). This verse is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:29, indicating a Q source. Jesus, via Matthew, compared human life to 2 sparrows, not 5 sparrows as here. He asked whether these 2 sparrows (οὐχὶ δύο στρουθία) that sold for a penny or a Greek “assarion” (ἀσσαρίου πωλεῖται), were more valuable than humans. Not one of these sparrows would fall to the ground without the heavenly Father (καὶ ἓν ἐξ αὐτῶν οὐ πεσεῖται ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν ἄνευ τοῦ Πατρὸς ὑμῶν). Thus, if God was worried about these somewhat valueless sparrows, how much more would he be concerned about humans. Do you worry about sparrows?