When Jesus observed individuals making contributions to the temple treasury, he made a surprising observation revealing that Jesus doesn’t necessarily take quantity into account, but sacrifice. While many gave more than the poor widow, she sacrificed more, because she gave all she had to live on. This is what pleases Jesus, what we sacrifice in order to honor him. The world honors quantity and is impressed when someone gives a large amount, even though the amount given will never impact the way that they live. The world gives no notice to an individual who sacrifices much, if the amount given is minuscule. However, Jesus notices that which the world chooses to ignore and recognizes both the amount, in this case 2 small coins, and the sacrifice; it was all she had to live on. Then he declared that she had given more than all that the wealthy had given. Once again Jesus demonstrated that the values of his kingdom are quite different than the values of the world in which we currently live.
This story is an illustration of what Paul meant when he wrote to the Romans that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds and not be conformed to the world. When we live according to the values of the world, we are being conformed to it. Jesus’ kingdom exists by different values, that we discover when we begin to think and value differently and in that way transform our actions.