Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Hypocrites often reveal themselves as detail oriented people. However, though they might notice something small and insignificant, they often fail to recognize the extremely obvious necessities of faithful service. When dealing with the hypocrites of His day, the Lord Jesus declared this very truth. The hypocrites paid tithes of mint, anise, and cummin but omitted judgment, mercy, and faith (Matthew 23:23). They would “strain at a gnat,” but “swallow a camel” (Matthew 23:24). They were obedient in the strictest sense of their religion in certain aspects, but oblivious to their disobedience in the more obvious areas of life. Even today, a hypocrite often becomes overzealous in his obedience in one area of life while failing to recognize his rebellion in other important areas.
- (For children): The Jews would not work on the sabbath. They found fault with Jesus because He healed people on the sabbath. Jesus pointed out that they helped animals on the sabbath and rightly so. People in need should be helped also (Luke 13:10-17; Luke 14:1-6).
- (For everyone): Do you work hard to be obedient in smaller matters while ignoring your rebellion to weightier commands? What was the Lord’s counsel to the hypocrites? What should you do?
- Do you work hard to perform the letter of the law (tithe of mint, anise, and cummin) while completely ignoring the spirit of the law (judgment, mercy, faith)?
- Ask the Lord to help you avoid the errors of the hypocrite.
- Ask God to help you obey the smaller and weightier matters.