John Alan Turner

Writer, Theologian, Consultant, Speaker, Teacher

One Week To Live: Wednesday

This week, as we think about the passion of Jesus, I’ll be posting some excerpts from my last book, The 52 Greatest Stories of the Bible. ----------

Tuesday was a long day! It was one of those days when you blink and it's lunchtime, then you blink again and it's starting to get dark.

Jesus and His disciples found themselves in a series of meetings (some of us can relate to just how draining that can be!). But the day ended on a positive note. As they were leaving the Temple, Jesus sat down in the court of the women and watched people as they approached the 13 trumpet-shaped, bronze receptacles. Each was labeled, telling what the donated money would go toward. Jesus saw wealthy people casually tossing in money, their coins sliding down the bronze, clanking metallically, attracting attention.

And that's when He saw her: Unnoticed by anyone else, an unassuming widow dropped two tiny coins in the coffer. Jesus got so excited that He called His disciples over to tell them her story. It must have seemed strange to them, given the scale of everything else that had been happening this week, that Jesus would get that worked up over a mere shaving of metal. But to Jesus, apparently, it was a very big deal.

Think about that for a minute: Jesus only had a few days left with His disciples. In about 48 hours His ordeal would begin, and it wouldn't end until He was dead and buried. We would understand if Jesus was a little preoccupied, wouldn't we? If Jesus was a little withdrawn or reserved or introspective, that would be understandable, right? Or if He was a little testy, pessimistic or cynical. After all, He had spent the better part of three years trying to get His message across to these dullards. But after all this time, still all they ever want to know is when He's going to set up the Kingdom, when He's going to overthrow the Roman government and who will get to sit next to Him when He finally holds court!

We'd understand if He just wanted to be alone for a while to collect His thoughts. Yes, He would get to that, but first He was determined to wring every last minute out of life while He could.

Jesus was always on the lookout for people who were getting it right. How did He even notice that one quiet widow amidst the sprawling chaos of His life? Well, if you study Jesus much at all, you'll notice a pattern. Do you know who the most important person for Jesus was at any given moment? The person right in front of Him.

One time when Jesus had just finished preaching, a guy with leprosy starting calling His name. Jesus stopped everything to go over and spend time with him. One time when Jesus was on His way to heal a man's dying child, a women touched the hem of Jesus' robe. Again, Jesus stopped everything to connect with that one sick woman.

It was His pattern. He was often busy -- He had lots to do, places to go, people to see. But He was never too busy to notice people who were getting it right in small and quiet ways.