Summary: WE can put our focus in the wrong place and come out looking silly and being ineffective for our Lord.
• SLIDE #1
• AS we continue looking at some of the things that can ensnare us as we strive to life for Jesus, we are going to look at a subject that can really creep into our lives over a long period of time.
• I think this is one of the traps that can slowly take hold of us if we are not careful.
• Majoring in minors is something that can really damage our walk with Jesus in the sense that we can cease to develop a true relationship with Jesus because we will spend all of our time on things that are not as important as developing our relationship with Jesus.
• It will also affect our ability to impact the lives of others because our priorities will not be in the right order.
• We can easily lose sight of what is really important.
• We are going to look at another of the “woe” that Jesus bestowed upon the religious leaders of His day.
• Let’s turn to Matthew 23:23-24.
• Let us begin in Matthew 23:23
• SLIDE #2
• Matthew 23:23 (ESV)23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
• Let us begin by looking at the practice of Majoring in Minors.
• SLIDE #3
I. THE PRACTICE OF MAJORING IN MINORS.
• Here we go again, Jesus is going after the religious leaders once again over another issue that they were struggling with of which they seemed to have no clue concerning their struggle.
• Before we get too harsh with them, it is easy for us to not see what is happening in our own lives at times.
• Sometimes it takes someone to come alongside of us to help show us the way.
• As we look at this situation, once again Jesus called them hypocrites. Remember, a hypocrite is someone who pretends to be who they are not. Jesus knew these leaders had their stone hearts in the wrong place.
• Well, what was happening that prompted Jesus to speak on this important matter?
• In the passage Jesus said these guys were tithing off their mint, dill, and cumin. I am sure they were tithing off more, but this represented a sample of what they were doing, not to mention that these were some of the smallest and most tedious things you can count.
• Let’s briefly look at the issue of the tithe.
• A tithe means a tenth part.
• In Deuteronomy 14:22-23, the Jews were required to give one tenth of the yield of the seed that came from their field as well wine, oil, and the firstborn of the flocks and herds.
• In Leviticus 27:30 the tithe was expanded to the fruit of the trees also.
• SLIDE #4
• Leviticus 27:30 (ESV) 30 “Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the LORD’s; it is holy to the LORD.
• The Pharisees expanded the tithe to include all vegetables and herbs from this passage. This may or may not have been a proper interpretation of this passage.
• They also gave another tenth every third year that was given to the poor. Deuteronomy 14:28-29.
• This was sort of God’s way of taxation, to see that His work would be financed as well as taking care of the poor.
• The herbs mentioned were used for medical purposes, air fresheners and to eat.
• TAKE OUT SEEDS TO COUNT.
• Here is what was happening. The religious leaders were sitting at their tables counting out the little dill, mint and cumin seeds.
• These seeds were very small, nine for me, one for God. Nine for me, one for God.
• Can you imagine the display of holiness that was made when the tithe was turned in? Counting seeds gave the Pharisees a way to display their dedication, and holiness for all to see!
• What about us today? Are we sitting around counting seeds instead of serving?
• Are we letting religious acts be a substitute for good works?
• I do not think we sit around tithing off of little seeds, but what are we substituting for the seeds? Do we keep ourselves so busy with things that are not important? Most of what we do may be good things, but are they as important some other things that we can do?