Matthew 23: 23-24
“Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You give a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, yet you neglect what is more important in the law — justice, mercy, and faithfulness! You should have done these things without neglecting the others.24 Blind guides! You strain out a gnat yet swallow a camel! (ESV)
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! (NASB)
I have not understood why preachers, after reading these passages and yet still conclude and emphasize that in the New Testament- we ought to tithe, i.e. to give our tenth percent.
Clearly -the Lord just rebuked them and sort-of allow them to be so conscientious in tithing the smallest herbs and spices in their garden. Tithing laws commanded only the produce of the land. Land which is their inheritance. Inheritance that the Levites do not have. But they are all Jews and are living in sacred space still. The Temple is still there -and the nation of Israel is not yet formally divorced as ahown in AD 70. If only they will think the historical and theological context of this verses.
The scribes and Pharisees are not good models for teachers-fir verse 24-they are judged to be blind! They have filtered out of their heart the minutiae of tithing but they have neglected their greediness and heartlessness in their hearts which had incapacitated them in beng kind and gentle to thier fellowmen. Clearly-this is more serious defilement.
And what are the weightier matters of the Law-judgement, mercy and faith. These should not be neglected and cast aside. In the New Covenant-these shall remain and in force even when Jesus already return to His Father in heaven.Giving people their due-and being kind and helpful to others while retaining a living relationship with God-should have been their priority and focus.
But where are their vision directed? Being hypocrites and self-righteous -in elevating themselves in outward behavior of tithing. This should have been a ever present warnig to those who tithe and also teached tithing. But they don’t-in fact-they just keep on beating the ears of their congregation-when the do not have anything more to give. What a situation.
Jesus does not condems tithing-but he also did not elevate it as what modern preachers are doing so that they can have illegal source of income. The tithe are for Levites. Ministers of the New Covenant should receive their honorarium or salary. Not tithes.
But -yes, members or Christian should be generous in their giving -not thinking if they are seen by their deacons or treasurers-but their Father in heaven.