You neglect justice and the love of God. Luke 11:42b
Read: Luke 11:42
Listen: Luke 11
God gives Israel a set of laws when he delivers the people from Egypt over a thousand years before the time of Jesus. One of those laws is that 10% of their crops (or income) should go toward the temple for the people who helped run it and the poor as a tithe. The Pharisees were super strict about it, even separating out 10% of their herbs and spices. But again—they missed the lesson behind the rule. God wanted his people to be generous and concerned about the poor. The Pharisees merely checked the box, thinking this was enough. Jesus tells them they have neglected justice and the love of God.
Financial generosity is a good thing. Jesus doesn’t tell them to stop tithing. But it is possible to be financially generous without reflecting the generous heart of God. The Pharisees missed it, but we don’t have to. Justice is making something right. Love is putting the needs of someone else before your own. Combine them, and the idea is that your problem becomes my problem.
Jesus views us precisely like this. He sees our sin problem and makes it his own. The Pharisees had no interest in doing this. But we should if we follow Jesus. When we love God, we should start loving others so much that we see them as Jesus sees us. We will say, “Your problem is my problem.”
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Consider whose problem you need to make your own. Start small and start close to home. Where can you reflect the generous heart of God by stepping into a situation and helping work toward justice? Write in your journal one person and one step you can take today to move forward in this way.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.