Posted: Thursday, February 4
Verse of the day:
What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.”
When you read the whole chapter of Matthew 23, you get the sense of Jesus frustration with the current religious system of his day. The people had taken the laws and commands from God, given to Moses, and created a system that was heavy and burdensome. The Jewish system in Jesus day was more about form and function than relationship with God.
Tithing is a fairly simple concept. Ten percent is fairly easy to calculate, just move the decimal point and you have got it: no complicated math or calculator needed. It is so simple in fact that it should take you no time at all to figure out and take care of. However, think of things in Jesus day. How many countless hours would it take to count out every single seed of a simple herb garden. Just a few window plants would become an entire day of counting and sorting. Your life would be consumed by the process.
Jesus was attempting to bring about a shift in the focus of the people. Yes, you should tithe, but keep it simple. Don’t over think it. Give your gift and move on. Position yourself to be able to take on the tasks that really can consume your time, like social justice, acts of service and mercy, and moments of faith. Jesus wants us to be faithful, but he also desires for us to keep it simple.