What does Luke 11:42 mean?
ESV: “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
NIV: 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.
NASB: But woe to you Pharisees! For you pay tithes of mint, rue, and every kind of garden herb, and yet you ignore justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.
CSB: "But woe to you Pharisees! You give a tenth of mint, rue, and every kind of herb, and you bypass justice and love for God. These things you should have done without neglecting the others.
NLT: What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.
KJV: But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Verse Commentary:
Jesus continues admonishing the Pharisees. He has been invited to dinner but did not ceremonially wash His hands before He ate. Unlike the Pharisees, who do everything to win honor and deference from the people, Jesus does not follow the extra-biblical Oral Law that the scribes developed long after Moses. He is much more interested in actions that are a natural result of a good heart (Luke 11:37–41).

Part of the Mosaic law requires ten percent of one's produce be given to the priests and Levites in return for their service in the temple (Numbers 18:21). The Israelites' observance of this requirement had been uneven throughout their history (Malachi 3:7–10). Yet the Pharisees are very legalistic. Their outward shows of devotion to God mean nothing, however, because they abuse the very people from whom they seek approval. They burden the people with extra laws but do not help them obey (Luke 11:46). They steal the homes of widows (Luke 20:47). And they promise money their parents need to the temple, thus both dishonoring their parents and looking good in front of the priests (Mark 7:9–13).

God has a long history of teaching Israelites that material donations are worthless unless they also give themselves. Sacrifice and offerings, celebrating feasts and prayers, and other religious performances are nothing without a "broken and contrite heart," hands free from violence, and justice for the oppressed (Psalm 51:16–17; Isaiah 1:12–17).

The church needs to remember Jesus' words. Our claims that we are holy and our condemnation of sin in the culture mean nothing if we do not repent of our own sins. Big, elaborate buildings mean nothing if we do not take care of the needy. Fish-shaped stickers on our cars mean nothing if we drive recklessly.

Jesus will remind the disciples of this truth in Matthew 23:23.
Verse Context:
Luke 11:37–44 is a shocking indictment which completes the Pharisees' rejection of Jesus. They appear to be holy, but they are filled with spiritual death. Next, Jesus will turn to the lawyers who claim to follow the Mosaic law but are more faithful to the long tradition of persecuting God's prophets (Luke 11:45–52). While the lawyers and Pharisees attempt to destroy Jesus (Luke 11:53–54), He warns His disciples to stay strong in persecution, knowing the kingdom of God is near (Luke 12:1—13:9). Jesus will speak further about the scribes and Pharisees right before His crucifixion (Matthew 23).
Chapter Summary:
Jesus teaches the disciples how to pray and explains God's intent to give "good" to those who ask. He then exorcizes a demon and refutes the claim that His power is satanic. Jesus explains that unreasonable skeptics will only see the "sign of Jonah." He then criticizes the superficial legalism of the Pharisees. In response, they plot against Him.
Chapter Context:
In what some scholars refer to as "The Travelogue to Jerusalem" (Luke 9:51—19:27), Jesus prepares His disciples for His crucifixion and resurrection and the establishment of the church. The description begins with Christ teaching the disciples how to spread the news of the kingdom of God and reaffirming how they will be blessed, culminating in the Lord's Prayer (Luke 9:51—11:13). Luke 11 finishes with accounts of leaders who reject Jesus. The remainder of the travelogue gives a pattern of teaching on the kingdom of God, miracles, and explanations of salvation. Then Jesus enters Jerusalem to face the cross.
Book Summary:
Luke was a traveling companion of Paul (Acts 16:10) and a physician (Colossians 4:14). Unlike Matthew, Mark, and John, Luke writes his gospel as an historian, rather than as a first-hand eyewitness. His extensive writings also include the book of Acts (Acts 1:1–3). These are deliberately organized, carefully researched accounts of those events. The gospel of Luke focuses on the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. Luke's Gentile perspective presents Christ as a Savior for all people, offering both forgiveness and direction to those who follow Him.
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