Answer: In short, not much. According to the Bible, Jesus only mentioned the word tithe three times.
Jesus references tithes in the following verses:
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. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel (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 (KJV).
And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted (KJV).
It’s important that these passages are place in context. There are some Christians who believe that these passages as evidence that Jesus taught and/or commanded Christians to tithe. However, when we rightly divide the word and understand what Jesus was saying in the context of the scriptures we find that this is not true.
First, Jesus never commands anyone to tithe. God had already established the tithe command through Moses and the Mosaic Law (Law of Moses), for ancient Israel. According the Bible, tithing was part of Jewish law that was practiced among ancient Jewish people – not Gentiles (including Christians).
like the scribes and Pharisees, lived under the Mosaic Law (Law of Moses). The New Testament had not been established when Jesus walked the earth. As an ancient Jewish person, Jesus observed the Mosaic Law because it was the covenant that God established with ancient Israel.
When Jesus references tithes he is not speaking to a Gentile (or Christian) audience because Gentiles (or Christians) were not required to tithe under the Mosaic Law (Law of Moses or Jewish law).
Third, the Gospels are four versions of the same Jesus story. If you notice, Matthew 23:23-24 and Luke 11:42 are two version of the same quote. So, technically, Jesus only mentions tithes twice in the Gospels.
In the Gospels, Jesus is addressing the scribes and/or Pharisees who, according to the Mosaic Law (Law of Moses), must pay tithes. In the verses, Jesus scolds the scribes and/or Pharisees for paying tithes while neglecting the more important issues such as justice, mercy and faithfulness. As far as Jesus was concerned, the tithe was one of the least important commandments of the Mosaic Law (Law of Moses). Keep in mind beloved, that when Jesus mentions tithes he is referring only to tithing as practiced under Jewish law (or Mosaic Law).
Finally, in Luke 18:9-14 Jesus shares a parable. In this parable, when Jesus mentions tithes, he is speaking as a Pharisee would speak. He is expressing the thoughts, beliefs and words of the Pharisees. The Pharisees thought that they were better than other people because they knew the Mosaic Law inside and out and followed all the commandments of the Mosaic Law. Therefore, Jesus is exposing the religious self-righteousness and hypocrisy of the Pharisees.
The Bible only cites three references of Jesus mentioning in tithes and two of the references are two versions of the same quote. Furthermore, Jesus only mentions tithes in reference to the Mosaic Law (Law of Moses or Jewish law).
The focal point of Jesus’ message in these verses is not about tithing. The verses illustrate how critical Jesus was of religious legalism, self-righteousness and hypocrisy.
What Jesus was teaching in these verses is that following religious laws, rituals and traditions is not the same as knowing God and having an intimate relationship with God. He was also encouraging humility. He was making it clear that practicing religious laws, rituals or traditions does not make a person better than someone who does not do those things.