What was different from what you already knew about the previous lesson?
Share briefly how the previous lesson impacted your life.
Main Text: Matthew 23:23.
Memory Verse: Let him who is taught the word share inall good things with him who teaches. – Galatians 6:6 (NKJV).
In recent times tithing, as a practice for the church, has come under numerous attacks, surprisingly from supposed Christian churches, groups and individuals. Among reasons given for their attitude are that the Old Testament priesthood is no more, and that the New Testament is silent on the practice. Their conclusion is that since Jesus did not plainly endorse it, tithing is not to be practiced in the name of Christianity. They, therefore, accuse churches that practice tithing of using unbiblical means to amass wealth. In this study, we shall look at how Jesus Christ in plain language endorsed tithing.
Questions for Discussion
Why did Jesus denounce the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and their colleagues? Verse 23a.
What do you think Jesus expected the Pharisees and their colleagues to do?
Explain the following phrases in Jesus’ statement,
These you ought to have done,
Without leaving the others undone.
How should Christians treat a practice that Jesus so clearly endorses?
Jesus’ comment on tithing makes the practice very significant; and that He recommended its continued practice gives credence to its relevance to the Church today. His statement in the main text does two things.
First it denounces hypocrisy in tithing. Then it recommends tithing within the framework of justice, mercy and faithfulness. Though He endorsed a practice instituted under the Law, his recommendation was never an endorsement of righteousness by works. For, tithing is not and can never be a substitute to expressing faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
The principle of the ancient tithes, namely, that ministers of the gospel and objects of benevolence should be provided for by the whole people of God, according to their means, is fully recognized in Scripture as applicable to the followers of Christ. For example, He sent His servants forth, two and two, without provisions or purses, to receive their support from the people, since ‘the laborer is worthy of his hire,’ (Matt. 10:9-14). The Church of Pentecost upholds Jesus’ position on tithing and has continued to teach its members to practice tithing as an important church growth factor that brings in tremendous blessings to those who practice it faithfully.