Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? But give what is inside the dish to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.
“Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone. Luke 11:39–42 (NIV 1984)
Jesus launches into a scathing rebuke of the religious leaders around Him at the dinner table of a local Pharisee. This passage begins a list of seven failures that these leaders experienced. The following begins the list of six failures that are prefaced with a dire warning, “Woe to you…”
Here’s #2 – Majoring on the minors, while neglecting what’s really important – v. 42 (NIV 1984)
Jesus points out that the Pharisees were fastidious in their tithing practices. Even giving a tenth of the herbs from their garden to the Lord. But their myopia in focusing on the minor issues of tithing down to counting the herbal seeds of their garden caused them to miss the bigger issues.
He pointed out two big misses in particular – the neglect of justice and the love of God. These issues are reflective of the very heart and character of God. They had majored on the minors while neglecting the more important matters.
Note that Jesus says that they should not have neglected the former. That is, don’t stop your attention to giving of your income to God. But, at the same time, don’t neglect the macro Kingdom issues that align with His overall purposes and character.
For Kingdom leaders, we can get so consumed with the operations – the doing of the Kingdom work that we neglect the King. We can focus on the tactical and miss the strategic. We be consumed with the immediate and neglect the long-term.
Both the work of the Kingdom and the King, the tactical and the strategic, and the urgent, immediate as well as the long-term are needed. It is a both-and, not an either-or.
Are you majoring on the majors or the minors?