The Perfect Woman

In Mark 12, shortly after teaching on marriage and the importance of loving God with your whole life, Jesus observes a poor widow giving an offering to the treasury. He comments, “This poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, *her whole livelihood*” (vv. 43, 44).

That phrase “her whole livelihood” is lifted from two passages in the Hebrew Scriptures—both authored by Solomon, the wealthiest Israelite.

“The heart of her husband trusts in her… for she employs *all her living* for her husband’s good” (Proverbs 31:11, 12).

“Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love *all the substance* of his house, it would be utterly despised” (Song of Solomon 8:7).

Solomon had all the money in the world; but his heart was in the wrong place, so ultimately he had nothing. The poor widow had nothing; but her heart was in the right place, so ultimately she had everything. She was effectively Solomon’s (and Jesus’) perfect woman: someone who, out of overwhelming love, gives everything she has to the bridegroom.

“The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
And you shall love the LORD your God
With all your heart,
With all your soul,
With all your mind,
And with all your strength.” (Mark 12:29, 30)

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