Jesus and the Pharisees: from Matthew 23:23-24

This is our seventeenth study. Please click HERE for an intro to this study. Today we will look at how the Pharisees tithed.

Matthew 23:23-24

23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices — mint, dill and cummin. 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. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

Observations

It is a little puzzling to me why the Pharisees concentrated on the little things as the spices but neglected the larger and spiritual things. But here are my ideas. Maybe they thought people would be impressed with them, that they were so diligent in giving a tenth of their spices; or maybe it was all they knew how to do; they were just doing things as they were taught. As for neglecting the larger things of justice, mercy and faith, I suggest that it was because they were unconverted and they did not understand those spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14).

Application

We should regard first the things of the Spirit and His kingdom. First give your life totally to Him and then He will direct you in what else to do. Never do things to impress people, but only to obey God in love.

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