Whereas Luke says the widow contributed “all her livelihood,” Mark’s version reads, holon ton bion, “her whole life” (Mark 12:44, emphasis added). For this reason, it is significant that this story of the poor widow in the temple places her in the immediate context of Jesus’ Passion. In Mark this story is found at the end of five stories of conflict between Jesus and his enemies (Mark 11:27–12:40) and immediately prior to his final great discourse—which commences with a remark about the grandeur of the temple (13:1)! In Luke this widow appears in the chapter before the Sanhedrin’s plot to kill Jesus (Luke 21:1–4; 22:1–6). Giving her all for God, she serves as a symbol of Jesus himself, who will lay down his life (bios) to advance the Father’s cause. In both gospels, Jesus “sees” this woman, understands her plight, and recognizes her likeness to himself—all of this within days of his death.
From The Jesus We Missed: The Surprising Truth About the Humanity of Christ by Patrick Henry Reardon.