What Jesus Did! 'Justice and Love' — Luke 11:42

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

[Jesus continued,] "What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things."
— Luke 11:42 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus reminded the Pharisees, and us, that giving is important. Tithing was only a part, but an essential part, of what God instructed the Israelites to give, [1] and following instructions to New Testament Christians, we are to give "in keeping with [our] income" and to help the poor. [2] Jesus told the Pharisees that they shouldn't neglect their tithes. However, tithing down to the minute detail isn't the ultimate issue in giving. Working to ensure that justice and God's love are a part of our personal lives and our world is crucial. The reason we are generous is that our Father is generous. The reason we are loving is that God has loved us. The reason we work for justice is that God wants justice for the oppressed. We want to be about our Father's business and live out our Father's character. Giving is one aspect of living for the Father. Love and justice are the heart of it!

[1] Deuteronomy 12:6, 15:7, 10, 18:4.
[2] 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; James 1:27.

Today's Prayer

Father, help me not lose sight of the forest for the trees. I confess that I sometimes get so caught up in my personal responsibilities to give that I lose sight of why you call me to be generous and loving. Give me a heart that works for justice for the oppressed, downtrodden, forgotten, and marginalized. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Amos 5:14-15, 21-24
  • Malachi 3:5
  • Isaiah 1:17

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Illustration

Illustration of Luke 11:42 NLT —  For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.