Small Pieces

Speaking of small pieces, in the section of the Word below Jesus tells us in our eighth guideline to avoid neglecting any law, big or little.

23“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. (Matthew 23:23 NASB95)

While it is a good thing to measure out the spices, we should pay equal or even greater attention to weightier issues. The tithing of small things is good. We should do that. But we are not to neglect justice, mercy, and faithfulness while we are measuring our spices. This is like a child with a laser sense of judgment when eyeing a sibling’s dessert, but steals money out of mom’s purse when she’s not looking. If I am nit-picky about tithing some spices, yet ignore more important issues that have a far greater effect on people, something is out of whack.

Feast days, diet, and laws of clean and unclean are important. But we must not forget that love, grace, patience, self-control and longsuffering are weightier. The fruit of the Spirit is just as much a law as avoiding pork and shellfish (except weightier). Don’t neglect the weightier commands while obeying the lighter commands. The lighter helps us learn the weightier, and the weightier reinforces that even the lighter words from God are important.

This is one of those teachings from Jesus skipped over by people who divide the Law into civil, ceremonial and moral sections. They tell us to ignore what they deem “small things” in His precious Word. But Jesus clearly says all the commands are important. Some are weightier than others, but none of them are neglected by the believer. As I said before, Jesus also tells us that if we are faithful in small things we will be faithful in larger things (Luke 16:10).

‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 9 section on Faithful in Little, Faithful in Much

Do What Jesus Did

Our Lord and Master gave us a number of rules for living the whole of the word. Some of them were indirect and stated in His parables. But some of them were direct. Technically, everything in the whole Book is from Jesus (all the words should be in red!) but here we are just speaking of what Jesus said directly during His incarnation at the temptation in the desert.

When confronted by evil, Jesus shows us practical defense. In Matthew chapter four, He made three statements to counter the Satan’s temptations, and all three statements came from “what is written” meaning Torah or the Law.

4But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ ” (Matthew 4:4 NASB95)

7Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” (Matthew 4:7 NASB95)

10Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’ ” (Matthew 4:10 NASB95)

Each response is saying essentially the same thing in three different ways. On the surface what looks like three different temptations have the same goal. The Satan tries to get Jesus to abandon God’s will and do His own thing (in reality the Satan’s own thing).

We still get hammered with the same sort of temptations on a regular basis, and the defense used by the Master works just as well now as it did then.

‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 9 Do What Jesus Did