October 17, 2022 – Monday
Matthew 23:23 NIV
23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
Matthew 23:23 NKJV
23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.
When reading the above verse (also found in Luke 11:42), some have concluded Jesus is condemning tithing and condemning the Pharisees ignoring the more important matters of the law, justice, mercy, and faithfulness. They are half wrong and half right.
Jesus is condemning the self-righteousness the Pharisees assumed for themselves by, in today’s parlance, tithing to the penny. And He is surely condemning them for ignoring what is even more“` important than tithing, practicing justice, mercy, and faithfulness. He seems to be harking to Micah 6:8 when He is pronouncing this woe on the Pharisees, 8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercyand to walk humbly with your God. Seldom do we encounter Pharisees in the New Testament who act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.
Some have written that what Jesus had to say in our verse for today only applied to Pharisees and not to Christians. They could not be more wrong. As Christians we are to also consider the important matter of justice, mercy, and faithfulness, especially in terms of granting grace to others as it has been granted to us. Mark 11: 25 is a great example of this when Jesus said, And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. Notice there are no exceptions given.
Jesus is also saying they (and I believe we) are to tithe as well, but we are not to believe that makes us righteous if and when we are ignoring the more important things of the faith. Are we to tithe or make offerings? Whether you call it tithes or offerings, 2 Corinthians 9:7 tells us how we are to give, 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Give freely and give cheerfully. Even Malachi 3:10 seems to reflect this when he writes, 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LordAlmighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
Then there is the story of William Colgate (as in the popular toothpaste) found online. When he started Colgate in 1806, he committed to donate 10% of all the company’s income. As the years passed and God blessed his work, he increased his giving to 20%, then 30%, then 40%, and finally 50% of all the company’s income! All the while, God blessed his efforts. William simply could not out-give God, and neither can we. Today, over 100 years later, Colgate-Palmolive is still the top-selling toothpaste brand.
Now I am going to link to two stores on tithing I recently posted on FB. The first is about an incredibly rich football player tithing 10% of his annual salary of $25 million. The second is about a regular person who quit tithing to the penny (example $112.14) and began thinking 10 percent is a great starting point (I could not agree more).
Bottom Line: Tithing or acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with your God? Or both? Both, while giving freely and cheerfully.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Help us to use wisdom in deciding what we are to do. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton