Did Jesus instruct us to keep tithing? Did He abolish it? Are we, Christians, still commanded to give tithes of our income? Let us take a deep dive into the Scripture and see what Jesus says about tithing.
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Christians are divided in their opinion when it comes to tithing.
Some believe that it is an important principle that every Christian should practice.
Others believe that it is obsolete already and so, we are free from tithing and we can simply give how much we are going to give.
However, what others say doesn’t really matter.
What matters most is what the Bible says.
In this post, I would like us to see in particular, what Jesus taught about tithing.
I believe it is crucial for us to set this controversy once and for all, so we can better see God’s perspective on this subject.
So, what did Jesus really teach about tithing?
Read this eye-opening blog and learn the truth straight from your Bible!
(Before you proceed, please also read “Top 10 Surprising Reasons Why You Should Tithe.” It gives you more details why we need to give tithes.)
Melchizedek and tithing
Before we go to the human life of Jesus Christ (Yahshua the Messiah), we need to see what He thinks about tithing in the Old Testament.
Let’s read Genesis 14:18-20:
Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said:
“Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
And blessed be God Most High,
Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”
And he gave him a tithe of all.
It is worth noting that the first mention of tithing in the Bible is in the incident where Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek.
As you can see, this proves something that most people would ignore.
The law of tithing and its principles weren’t enforced when the Israelites came into the picture.
This law has long been in effect before the nation of Israel appeared.
If tithing was practiced by righteous Abraham, then it follows that it is also practiced by other servants of God.
Therefore, don’t think that tithing is only for the nation of Israel as we can see, tithing is already practiced long before they come into existence.
However, you might ask, what’s the connection of Melchizedek to what Jesus has to say about tithing?
The key here is to know who Melchizedek is.
Thankfully, His real identity is revealed in Hebrews 7:1-3:
For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” without father, without mother, WITHOUT genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.
As you can read, all the description of Melchizedek can’t be applied to any human being.
Therefore, Melchizedek is no other than one of the members of the God Family, Jesus Christ.
Now, I won’t go any further in discussing Melchizedek’s identity as this can be a huge topic, but I’ll just share this link where it fully explains His identity.
As you can see, Melchizedek and Jesus Christ are one and the same.
With this in mind, we can prove that even before His human existence, Jesus supported and upheld the law and principle of tithing.
Jesus directly commands tithing
Now, let’s go to the New Testament.
There’s one situation in Jesus’ life when He was reprimanding the Pharisees about their hypocrisy.
The story is found in Matthew 23.
But in verse 23, we read:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, WITHOUT leaving the others undone.
In this verse, we could read how Christ was telling the scribes and Pharisees that they should have not neglected justice, mercy, and faith or the weightier matters of the law.
However, did Jesus say, that would be enough?
Is it enough to simply take care of the weightier matters of the law?
Obviously no as we can read Jesus said:
“These [referring to the weightier matters of the law] you ought to have done, without leaving the others [referring to tithing] undone.
In this verse, we can conclude that indeed, Christ upholds the law of tithing.
Some think that Jesus came to abolish the law, but far from it.
We can read in Matthew 5:17-18:
Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
Jesus made it a point that He didn’t come to do away with the Law and that includes the tithing principle.
If you see heaven and earth are still existing, then the law is still there!
You might also want to read, “7 Awesome Books That Will Make You Smarter Instantly.”
Now, here’s a warning to those people who are breaking the laws of God and even teaching others to do the same:
Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven (verse 19).
As you can see, Jesus didn’t come to get rid of tithing and the law of God. In fact, based on Matthew 5, He even promoted and upheld it.
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Jesus and paying taxes
One of the most common arguments people use against tithing is Matthew 17:24-27.
However, does Matthew 17:24-27 proves Jesus didn’t pay tithe?
Let’s read this passage first:
When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?”
He said, “Yes.”
And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?”
Peter said to Him, “From strangers.”
Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.”
By reading this verse, some concluded that Peter worked by fishing.
Since Peter was fishing and he got a piece of money or gold coin in the fish’s mouth, people concluded that he earned an income.
Since the record didn’t show that Peter deducted a tithe from the gold coin, then it is therefore concluded that Jesus and His disciples didn’t pay tithe.
But is this really the case?
The problem with so many people today is that they are willing to ignore a lot of scriptures supporting tithing and will only focus on what they think will support their belief.
So, let’s examine.
First of all, Matthew 17:24-27 IS NOT about tithing.
Nowhere is tithing spoken here.
The issue is about giving temple taxes.
At this point in time, let us remember that Peter and the other disciples stopped being fishermen.
They forsook everything and followed their Master, Jesus Christ.
Fishing isn’t the livelihood of the disciples anymore.
Second point, please consider that the money that Peter found was purely intended for the tax.
It is not an income anymore.
The money is exactly for the tax, no more, no less.
It was divinely reserved in advance for this very purpose.
This money is not for Jesus or the disciples to keep but to give as tax.
Thus, it was given immediately for tax and no tithe needs to be taken from it.
Later we will read Matthew 22:21:
“Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
Do you see the teaching of Christ?
In this verse, Jesus was saying that we should pay taxes, but we must also render to God what belongs to Him!
Do you know what belongs to God?
Our tithes and offerings!
That’s the truth.
We must give our tithes to God because it is holy.
It is not for us to decide how to spend our tithe.
It is God’s and must, therefore, be given back to Him.
Jesus as a businessman and a tithe payer
Jesus was a carpenter and they have a family business.
In truth, Jesus had spent more years being a businessman compared to his 3 1/2 years of ministry.
That’s something interesting to take note of.
In those years, it is not difficult to imagine that Jesus set aside tithe.
So, when He finally needed to start His ministry, He has money to spend.
He doesn’t need to work anymore as He already saved enough money to last Him his ministry.
In the same way, how do you think the work of God is done in today’s world?
The church can’t simply rely on donations and alms.
No, that’s why God ordained tithing to support His work and have His Gospel preached throughout the world.
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As we have seen, Jesus Christ (Yahshua the Messiah) taught that we should still tithe in this modern world.
Remember, God owns everything and those who follow His commands are given a sure promise that they will also be blessed.
You can be part of the most important work on the face of the earth – the preaching of the Gospel – through your tithe and offering.
Isn’t this the best investment of your money you can ever make?
I hope you have learned a lot from this blog.
Let me know your thoughts below. 🙂
15 thoughts on “What did Jesus Teach About Tithing?”
Love it. Our church recently went through a teaching on tithing and it was very eye opening to many. Whenever people have come to us and asked questions about tithing: (how much, off gross or net, etc) we always ask people one question to get started. Are you looking to give more, or give less?
Another question I frequently get is in regards to where our tithe goes? I know my conviction, but I also don’t think it is a salvation issue. I simply know 90% blessed goes miles further than 100% not blessed.
Thanks for your post.
Thanks for your comment. I understand that tithing can be a huge topic. But the bottomline is that God looks at the attitude on how willing we are to give back what He considers as holy and set apart for a specific purpose.
Hi Jesus said surrender unto ceasers what is ceasers and unto Gods what is Gods. Also jesus told peter to take up the first fish and he would find money in its mouth, I believe he said that it would be enough to pay the temle tax for them both. And in Corinthians it says everyone should give what he has determind in his heart to give. so it between us and God what to put in. Plus wjats the difference between a tithe and an Offering
Thank you for your good article on tithing
Using the same logic would you make a case that âkeeping the Sabbathâ is also a law/rule that has not been abrogated?
I know this is controversial but I canât see how the Western Evangelical church neither keeping Saturday or Sunday as a Sabbath is pleasing to God
Are we missing something here?
Thank you for your attentionJ
Richard F. Warner B.Min. M.Th.
Lighthouse Christian Church and College
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I’m a Sabbath keeper and a big believer that Christians should keep the Sabbath as it offers a lot of physical and spiritual benefits. The Almighty, in his great love, gave us the Sabbath. Sadly, a lot of Christians today don’t see that.
Sabbath never means Saturday but means sacred or holy. In the Jewish calendar the day changed after 7 weeks Sabbaths on the seventh day by having two sabbaths together, day 49 and day 50. From day 50, for the remainder of their calendar year, sabbaths were observed each seventh day. (day 57, 64, 71, etc.) Another example is the year of jubilee that was a sabbath year, after seven sabbath years on year 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, and 49, Jubilee was year 50. Sabbath year but not a 7th year.
Sabbath was never limited to Saturday.
Going through the Bible, you will learn there are the weekly Sabbaths and the annual Sabbaths.
Is tithing only for the Church, or can one tithe to a charitable cause such as food pantries to feed the hungry.
That’s a good question, Steven.
For me, tithing is primarily given to the church that does the work of God. The work of God is primarily preaching the Gospel. I would say that if the church has extras, then they can use tithe for charitable causes, but the priority is still to preach the Gospel and help church members.
Thanks for the teaching on tithing, it is very clear. As for Shabbat, I will say that the Jews tried keeping every law associated with the Sabbath but were unable; which also gave room for grace. The laws associated with Sabbath was too difficult to keep. So I believe if anyone says he is a sabbaterian such body must study scripture well and keep to All the laws of Sabbath. Thanks.
God will not give us a command that is impossible to keep. I agree that we can’t perfectly keep the commandments that’s why we need grace. However, that doesn’t excuse us to ignore the whole law entirely simply because it is difficult to follow.
I don’t see where Jesus or the disciples ever taught tithing. There were at least three types of tithing under the law which amounted to around 26%. Every seventh year the Israelis were exempt from tithing. Jesus used the example of the old woman that gave two copper coins which is all she had. The Lord wants us to be able to give all we have to others. Jesus taught to give and be excited about giving to all in need. Any mention of tithes in the New Testament was because it was before Christ went to the cross and that time all were under the law. Please do not use Abraham that tithe 10% once as that was before the law. The law was for the Jewish people to show them their sinfulness. Christ came to free us from sin. If you are going to tithe then tithe and follow the law all of it. If not then give freely not under compulsion. Think about it, Jesus set us free to have a relationship with the Father, why would He demand us to pay 10% so we get blessed. Remember the early church those believers sold property and homes to give so no one did without, this is the kind of giving the Lord is looking for.
Hi Kim Allen Rock
This comment is scriptural, Jesus taught us the way of love, God don’t bless his children through tithes any longer but through Christ as the bible teaches us in Galatians 1 that we have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly, that means we lack nothing in Christ. Paying of tithes is not a doctrine in Christ.
Perhaps it has nothing to do with money. For a fresh perspective please look at Bill Donahue’s interpretation of not only tithing but the whole Bible. Truly an amazing individual
Whoops, I posted a link with his youtube channel, but I see it’s not allowed. Search for him on Youtube. He has a totally diferent way of reading and understanding Scipture. It has brought me so much closer to our Creator and his views are what Jesus really taught