Sermon on the Mount 13

Serving Mammon 6:19-24

This one makes no reference to the Talmud, and only an indirect reference to the Old Testament. Jesus equates evil to being double-minded, in the sense of unfaithful to God. Righteousness is indicated with the Greek word haplous, meaning “single” in the sense of fully integrated. The word appears to be related to the word pleko (“braided”) to indicate something made from multiple strands and united into a single thing. When the heart rules over the intellect, this is what we would expect: a living soul unified in purpose and commitment.

Jesus begins with a blatant statement in favor of otherworldliness. Don’t get entangled with worldly material values, because there is no way you can really keep those things secure. By implication, they cannot keep you safe; you cannot trust them. The most precious things in this world will fail you. They cannot buy you shalom and you cannot take them to Heaven.

Rather, you should put your trust in mystical treasures, the ultimate value of things that belong to the Spirit Realm. When your most valuable treasure is the heart-led awareness of God’s divine moral character, nothing else really matters. You can simply let that other stuff go.

Look at your life; what does it say about you? What really matters to you? That’s where your heart — your faith and commitment — is anchored. Jesus refers to the eye as a symbol of your perception and discernment. If your eye is properly integrated and fully focused on God’s revelation of truth, then your whole life will be filled with glorious light from that truth. If your eye is evil — your perception is perverted and diseased — then your life is filled with dark deceptions. You’ll be chasing after everything that most of humanity values, and you’ll never see the truth.

He nails it down in no uncertain terms: The ancient idea that you can properly honor a pantheon of deities is false. In very real terms, we will inevitably serve one or another. The Old Testament criticizes the idea of bouncing back and forth between two or more conflicting commitments. You cannot pretend loyalty to Jehovah in Heaven if your life’s devotion is tied up in the ephemeral treasures of this realm of existence. You might was well admit to serving the satirical idol, Mammon. Everyone around you already knows where your heart is. And if your soul is anchored here in the fallen realm, you have no place in Heaven, and no place in the Kingdom of the Messiah.

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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