Missing the Point

But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Luke 11:42

Since the Jews will were still under the law during the ministry of Jesus, they were required to tithe. Jesus does not deny this because it was part of the law. However, He tells them that they were overly concerned about the minute details of such laws and had neglected other portions of the law that helped others.

The law is our schoolmaster to show us the need for a Savior, Who is Jesus Christ.

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Galatians 3:24-25

Faith, given in the new birth, gives us inward motivation to fulfill the law of God. So, rather than just an outward set of ordinances, our heart now motivates us to do things that are pleasing to God. One of the most important actions is love and compassion toward others.

The Pharisees had built a system of justification in their minds that included many steps to make themselves feel justified. In truth, however, these actions never justified them in the sight of God. Why? Because they did these things for their own benefit. 

The portion of the law that they always seemed to neglect was love toward their fellow man. We saw this in the parable of the Good Samaritan. The Priest and the Levite were “too busy” practicing their religion to help a fellow man in need. This showed that their religion was petty and self-serving.

Jesus taught very plainly that love and compassion have always been part of the law. In fact, they are key to the whole thing!

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Matthew 22:37-40

While we are no longer under the law as far as practicing ordinances, tithing, and sacrifices, the moral law of God still abides. And the most important expression of the character of God in the law abides as well – self sacrifice.

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