Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tuesday April 8, 2014 Matthew 6:24

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 6:24

The King James translation of this verse uses the word “mammon”, more recent translations use “money” or “wealth”.  Mammon isn’t capitalized, but may have been the actual name of a god of riches. In any case, Jesus’ hearers would have associated the word with riches.

Even though we often hear 1 Timothy 6:10, quoted as “money is the root of all evil”, it really says “the love of money is the root of all evil.”   There’s nothing inherently wrong with wealth. Even John Wesley said “Earn all you can, give all you can, save all you can”. There is something wrong about making it your goal. John Wesley also said that if he died worth more than ten pounds, people could rightfully call him a thief and a robber.

I don’t know if Jesus is speaking specifically about money, or of whatever might be separating us from the one true God, any of the “shiny gods” like those we discussed this past fall in the stewardship campaign. But he is sending a clear message: choose your priority, make up your mind, follow the true path. This goes beyond putting God first. It’s putting God “only”. Because the danger is not just wrong priorities. The danger is that if we choose the wrong “master” we aren’t putting God in second place, but in last place.   --Marilyn McCarter

3 comments:

Linda W said...

Love this: "This goes beyond putting God first. It’s putting God “only”. Because the danger is not just wrong priorities. The danger is that if we choose the wrong “master” we aren’t putting God in second place, but in last place."

Henry McCarter said...

Priorities would suggest that we can balance multitasking.

That doesn't really work. Our minds and hearts cannot segment. We can focus on only one thing at a time. If we can stay focused on God, all of our actions can generate from that center. The Christian goal is to work from God's love for all of Her children in all of our actions.

Nikki Edleman said...

I think Jesus is very often talking directly about worship of wealth and love of money as being a major conflict with discipleship of God. We tend to over-spiritualize much of what he says, taking away the emphasis on economics inherit to his message.... At the same time, the worship of mammon is a dead serious spiritual problem. And it is a problem inate to living in our world. Can we imagine a world following Jesus-Economics? What would that world look like?

It is interesting to read and compare the Beatitudes in Luke 6 with Matthew's version in Chapter 5 for a more clear glimpse of economics in even this portion of the Word we are studying....