Jesus continues to call His followers to be different from those around them. In the previous verses of this Chapter to be different from the hypocrisy of the religious (vs.1-18), and now in the last 2 sections to be different from the materialism of the irreligious (vs.19-34).
And so He challenges His listeners about their treasure (vs.19-21), whether it is the earthly kind, which is not permanent, because it is subject to decay and theft, and of course “you can’t take it with you”; or the heavenly kind which doesn’t decay or cannot be stolen. ‘For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.’ In other words, is our heart, our emotions, our focus, our energy focussed on the things of this life or the things of the next?(In the old Anglican prayer book Communion service these were some of the verses read out before they took the offering/collection!!)
Similarly, are our eyes (vs.22-23) focussed on the things of light or darkness, because what we see, what we focus on, affects the rest of our being, shapes the rest of our lives.
So in the end it comes down to a choice between which master we serve (v.24), because it is impossible to serve 2 masters. Will it be God or money (the old translations used the word mammon)?
Jesus’ teaching and questioning is challenging, and penetrating, and from experience it isn’t something that you nail once and for all. It is something that you have to keep coming back to, to keep checking yourself against, in the decisions that we make, in the lives that we lead.Where is our heart? What are we focussed on? Which master gets our loyalty?
One more section tomorrow, before I leave you for 2 weeks.
In our prayers today, let us pray for those who used to come to Here 4 You regularly, that we as a church might be able to reconnect with them in the future:- Tracey; Melanie; Chris; Marianne; Mikala & family. (I managed to chat to 2 of them when out walking the dog in KH yesterday)