What Did Jesus Say About the Tithe?
Dr. Larry Ollison
Not too long ago, a gentleman told me that he doesn't believe it is important for Christians to tithe, because Jesus never addressed the tithe, not even once. So since it was not important to Jesus, it was not important to him.
I appreciate other people's opinions, even when they don't agree with my teaching because when I am challenged, it forces me to examine what I teach. Such is the case with this gentleman.
His reasoning would be correct except for one detail: his facts are not true. Jesus didn't ignore talking about the tithe. In fact, when speaking to the scribes and Pharisees, He clearly spoke about the tithe. He told the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23:23, "You give a tenth of your spices-mint, dill and cumin. 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." (NIV)
The gentleman told me that he did not tithe because Jesus never mentioned tithing. But as you can see, Jesus did mention it. All too often people will take actions that can mean life or death based on an assumption that is not true. Jesus said in John 8:32 that the truth of His Word would set us free. Anything that does not align with the Word of God is false. The truth brings deliverance. Everything else brings destruction. Here is the truth about Jesus and tithing.
There were things the religious leaders were not doing at the time of Jesus that they should have done. Jesus corrected them on this, while at the same time reminding them to not neglect what they were already doing. He said very clearly that tithing was good and they should continue to do it.
So, with this in mind, let's use the same logic that this man used. Since Jesus did mention tithing and since He said it was a good thing to do and He told those He was talking to that they should continue to tithe, we should tithe.
What is a tithe? The word tithe means one-tenth. The tithe belongs to God. It is not ours. It never has been and it never will be. It should not be included in our budget, because it is not ours to decide what to do with.
According to the Bible, to use the tithe for personal expenses is stealing from God. He said in Malachi 3:8, "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, 'In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings." So what is the bottom line? Jesus said we should tithe and the Bible says if we don't, we are stealing from God. If you are a tither, know that you are being obedient to God. If you are not, I encourage you to begin right now. Not only are you helping to further the kingdom of God when you tithe, but there are other benefits of personal harvest and blessing as well.