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Spiritual Significance of First Fruits

What is the spiritual significance of First fruits to the modern Christian. What is the portion or quantity that can be equated to a first fruit if dealing with money.


Unlike Judaism, the Christian tradition does not see the biblical laws as being obligatory, yet does seek to extract some spiritual meaning from them. In the case of First Fruits, the “spiritual meaning” behind the precept is the belief that everything one receives is given us by God, and given us for a purpose. In expression of this belief, the first fruits are brought to the Temple (in times when the Temple stood) as an offering to God.

In the absence of the Temple, and in our modern, non-agricultural society, the technical application of this precept cannot be fulfilled (by Jew and Christian alike), yet it continues to have deep practical meaning. We are urged to instill within us the firm belief that all we have is from God–derived from His blessing and influence, and not only from the labor of our hands. Recognizing this, we appreciate that the income and bounty we receive is given us for a purpose–to allow ourselves and our family the means for spiritual growth and development (we are expected to put the blessing we receive to good use), and also for benefitting others, individuals and causes alike, who require our assistance.

In the Jewish tradition, the custom is to separate one tenth of one’s income, for the purpose of donation to charitable causes. This is not derived from the precept of the First Fruits, but rather from the obligation of tithing one’s produce. I don’t know if there is a Christian equivalent.

Best wishes and blessings.

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