THE WORDS OF JESUS
Creative, Causative, Prophetic, Instructional – Part 24
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. – The Words of Jesus, Matthew 6 :24.
Beginning in Matthew 6:19, Jesus is teaching how we must begin to clear all the ‘interference’, that is, the sin, from our spirit, our soul and our body. He is starting with the basics of becoming ‘perfected’, teaching us to have a clear mental slate, so He can write His words upon our hearts and minds. This must happen before we can expect to receive from Him and to begin the transformation from the rebellious child to the mature disciple of Christ.
We are told to lay up treasures in heaven, for where our treasure is, there our heart will be also, and it is from the heart that spring the issues of life. In other words, change our focus and our mindset from earthly and temporal to those things above, to the Kingdom of Heaven and of eternal things.
Next, Jesus has told us to guard what we set our sights on and to guard what comes into the focus of our eyes, as they are the ‘lamp to our bodies’.
Now, Jesus is teaching about being single-minded. He is saying to clear away the clutter of double-mindedness. The Apostle James warns that the double minded person is unstable in all his or her ways and should not expect they will receive anything from the Lord. (James 1:5-8)
This is the most difficult of teachings, but it is representative of what is required to be a disciple of Jesus. Listen carefully friend, Jesus is clearly teaching that if you want to be saved that you must,
“Sell all that you have, distribute it to the poor, then you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Luke 18:22)
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:37-38)
The focus of your heart, of your eyes of your mind, emotions and your will must be solely on Jesus as your Lord and Master.
Money is the only other thing in life we pursue our entire lives for our support and our livelihood. Jesus is saying, in no uncertain terms, that not you, not the preacher, not the church, no not anyone, can depend on God and on money. It has to be one or the other. You cannot serve God and money, for they will bring your mind, soul and spirit into an unresolvable conflict, and you will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. This is both a spiritual truth and a spiritual law.
If you try to make both God and Money your ‘master’, you will have rendered yourself to become like the ‘the salt that has lost his saltiness, which cannot be restored. It is therefore worthless, good for nothing except to be cast out, and trodden under the foot of men.’ (Matthew 5:13)
This teaching, to our great harm, is the one most often compromised, twisted to fit our own thinking or completely disregarded, by both the individual calling themselves, ‘Christian’ and by the Church.
So, where does this leave you? Do you now take a vow of poverty? Please, don’t be silly. The Apostle Paul helps us understand when he says, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) We all need some amount of money to live in this world. Some can handle small amounts, others can safely and effectively deal with great wealth. Either way, you must depend completely on God to supply your needs, then do what He has directed. Do not lose the focus of your calling to the mission and to Christ as your Lord and Master, and never compromise.
God (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) and the teaching of scriptures always take priority. There are no ‘2nd choices’ or ‘2nd place’.
Sola Christo. Sola Scriptura.
Your Brother and Friend,
FOR YOUR EDIFICATION: The word for “serve” in these verses is the Greek word, ‘douleuó’, which means to serve as a slave, having all personal ownership-rights assigned to the owner; to willingly give over the prerogative to be self-governing. The pursuit or love of money will enslave you.
This word also describes someone who belongs to another; a bond-slave, without any ownership rights of their own. Ironically, this is used with the highest dignity in the New Testament – namely, of believers who willingly live under Christ’s authority as His devoted followers.
This is why you must choose. Don’t be deceived. It cannot be both.
PREVIOUS: THE WORDS OF JESUS – What Are You To Do With Them? Part 23, “The Eye is the Lamp of the body…”
NEXT: THE WORDS OF JESUS – What Are You To Do With Them?, Part 25, “Do not be anxious…”