Matthew 6:19-6:24

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

EXCLUSIVE DEVOTION TO GOD

INTRODUCTION:

 

In Matthew 6:1-18 Jesus demands the sincere devotion of the heart to God the Father; whereas, in Matthew 6:19-34 He demands undivided trust in God the Father, no matter what the circumstances.

 

In Matthew 6:19-24 we see why believers must be exclusively devoted to God. The Lord and the things of the Lord must be more important to us than anything else in life. If they are not, then we will be distracted from serving Him exclusively.

 

People are plagued by worry.

 

They worry about money, children, health, tornadoes, hurricanes, forest fires, the direction our country is headed, the world situation, etc.

 

They take tranquilizers to calm down.

 

They drink coffee or energy drinks to get them going.

 

They drink alcohol to help them forget and relax.

 

They take sleeping pills to help them get to sleep at night.

We see that we must be exclusively devoted to God because –

    I.     THE THINGS OF THE WORLD ARE SO PERISHABLE - 6:19-21

 

Rather than seeking to accumulate wealth in this life, Jesus instructs those hearing or reading the Sermon on the Mount to be concerned with eternity’s values. They are to stop laying up treasures for themselves on the earth. Instead they are to lay up treasures for themselves in heaven. Wherever they are laying up treasures will reveal where their heart is, whether on earth or in heaven. The Pharisees were laying up treasures for themselves on the earth.

 

Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.

 

In verse 19 Jesus instructs His hearers not to be concerned with accumulating wealth in this world.

 

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth is a command whose tense and mood indicate that this was already being done and needed to be stopped. It is, therefore, understood in the sense of stop laying up (or storing up) for yourselves treasures upon earth or do not continue laying up (or storing up) for yourselves treasures upon earth.

 

Treasures stored up on earth may not last as is indicated by where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal indicates.

 

Moth refers to the larvae of moths which eat clothing, thereby ruining it.

 

Rust speaks of corrosion which eats at various things such as metals.

 

Doth corrupt suggests destroys or ruins. Its tense indicates something which can normally be expected to occur.

 

And introduces something else which can be expected with treasures stored up on the earth: where thieves break through and steal.

 

Where refers to on the earth.

 

Thieves are people who steal what does not belong to them.

 

Break through suggests that thieves are breaking through a wall to gain entrance into the home or they are breaking into the home.

 

And introduces the result of thieves breaking into someone’s home.

 

Steal is are stealing, something which is done habitually or customarily after breaking in. There are always problems with things treasured up in homes. Material things have a way of deteriorating and losing their value. They also have a way of being stolen. There are always some people who try to separate others from their possessions.

 

Treasures on earth consist of many things. For example, homes, wealth, farms, cars, reputation, families, success. The problem with earthly treasures is that they can be so easily removed.

 

Matthew 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

 

Verse 20 is a statement in mild contrast to verse 19. The difference comes as a result of treasuring up things in heaven rather than on the earth. Whereas verse 19 indicates where treasures should not be stored up, verse 20 indicates where they should be stored up.

 

But introduces this mild contrast.

 

Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven suggests be laying up (or be storing up) for yourselves treasures in heaven or continue laying up (or continue storing up) for yourselves treasures in heaven.

 

Treasures stored up in heaven will last as where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

 

Where refers to heaven.

 

Neither moth nor rust have any adverse effect in heaven. Things in heaven will not deteriorate due to being eaten by insects or corroding.

 

And where thieves do not break through nor steal indicates something else which will not happen in heaven. There are no thieves there; so there will never be any breaking in and stealing.

 

How can I lay up treasures in heaven? Simply by being saved and living for the Lord.

 

I Timothy 6:6-10 , 17-19 – (6) But godliness with contentment is great gain. (7) For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. (8) And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. (9) But they that will [i.e. will to be, determine to be] be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. (10) For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

 

(17) Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; (18) That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate [i.e. to share]; (19) Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

 

Colossians 3:1-3 – (1) If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. (2) Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (3) For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

 

Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

 

Verse 21 indicates that wherever one is laying up treasure for himself will demonstrate where his heart is.

 

For introduces an explanation of why treasure should be laid up in heaven rather than on the earth.

 

Where your treasure is suggests wherever you are laying up or storing your treasure.

 

There suggests in that place.

 

Will your heart be also indicates that it will show what you really love, what is most important to you in your life. This verse is not hinting that there is something wrong with being wealthy. It is speaking of someone’s love for money and the things it can buy. It is the love of money which is the root of all evil, not the money itself. Poor people as well as rich people can have a problem with treasuring up things on earth or of loving money.

 

Where is your treasure?

 

We also see that we must be exclusively devoted to God because –

  II.     OTHERWISE OUR VISION IS ADVERSELY AFFECTED - 6:22-23

 

Healthy spiritual eyes are necessary to discern spiritual truth. Saved people have healthy spiritual eyes and are able to discern spiritual truth; whereas, unsaved people have diseased spiritual eyes and are unable to discern spiritual truth. The Pharisees’ eyes were incapable of discerning spiritual truth because they were diseased.

 

Matthew 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

 

In verse 22 Jesus states that spiritual light enters an individual through a spiritual eye.

 

The light of the body is the eye suggests the lamp of the body is the eye. It is through the eye that an individual sees. A person with a good eye is able to see things around him. Through a healthy spiritual eye an individual is able to perceive spiritual truth.

 

Therefore draws an inference from the statement that the light of the body is the eye and is understood in the sense of accordingly, consequently, then, or so.

 

If therefore thine eye be single is a condition which makes no assumption regarding its truth. Its truth depends upon the individual whose eye it is. It will be single for some but not for others.

 

Thine eye is your eye.

 

Be single suggests without guile, sincere, or straightforward, i.e. without a hidden agenda. It pertains to being motivated by singleness of purpose so as to be open and aboveboard. It is in a financial context being preceded by instruction about laying up treasures in heaven as opposed to laying up treasures on earth and being followed by the need for serving God rather than money. It refers to someone who does not have a hidden agenda for gaining wealth.

 

Thy whole body shall be full of light suggests that he will be spiritually healthy. He will be filled with spiritual light or enlightened and, as a result, will be greatly blessed by God.

 

Matthew 6:23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

 

Verse 23 provides a mild contrast to verse 22 as introduced by but.

 

If thine eye be evil is the condition in a conditional statement. Its structure indicates that no assumption is able to be made regarding its truthfulness. It will be true for some but it will be false for others.

 

Thine eye is your eye and refers to the spiritual eye of some individuals like the Pharisees.

 

Be evil suggests is bad in the sense of is sick.

 

Thy whole body shall be full of darkness is the conclusion of the conditional statement. If the condition is true, the conclusion will also be true. If someone’s spiritual eye does not work properly, it will adversely affect his ability to perceive spiritual truth. As a result, he will be in spiritual darkness because of his unsaved condition. He is an unsaved person. John 3:18-21 confirms this.

 

John 3:18-21 – (18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (19) And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (20) For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. (21) But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

 

John 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

 

Along the same line, John 8:12 says,

 

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

 

I John 1:5-6 says,

 

I John 1:5-6 – (5) This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (6) If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.

 

In addition I John 2:8-11 says,

 

I John 2:8-11 – (8) Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. (9) He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. (10) He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. (11) But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

 

Furthermore, I Corinthians 2:12-16 says,

 

I Corinthians 2:12-16 – (12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (15) But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. (16) For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

 

Back to Matthew 6:23

If . . . the light that is in thee be darkness is the condition in a conditional statement. Its structure indicates that, for sake of discussion, it is assumed to be true. Inasmuch as it will be true for some but not for others, if should be understood in the sense of assuming that.

 

The light that is in thee is the light which is in you. If the person is actually unsaved, there can be no spiritual light in him; so, it is referring to light he thinks is in himself.

 

Be darkness indicates that the light he believes is in himself is actually darkness, i.e. no light at all. Many unsaved people believe that they have spiritual light in them, but the Scriptures indicate that they are mistaken.

 

The conclusion of the conditional statement is, How great is that darkness!

 

That darkness has been placed in a position of emphasis in the Greek text, which reads literally, The darkness how great! It hinders their ability to perceive spiritual truth. The Pharisees were spiritually blind but thought that they were spiritually enlightened. They did not perceive their lost condition as is indicated by the fact that they were guilty of the sin of coveting wealth in addition to many other sins.

Finally, we see that we must be exclusively devoted to God because –

 III.     IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SERVE TWO MASTERS - 6:24

 

In Matthew 6:24 Jesus continues to point out ways in which His listeners’ righteousness must exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. The scribes and Pharisees were characterized by greed, but it is impossible to serve two masters. If someone is serving money, he cannot be serving God. They cannot have a divided loyalty in their Christian service.

 

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.

 

No man is no one or nobody, and it is just as true of females as it is of males.

 

Can serve suggests is able to serve or is able to be serving. The tense of can indicates that this is a timeless truth, something which is always true under all circumstances; and the tense of serve indicates continuing or ongoing action.

 

Two masters is two lords. Masters has been placed in a position of emphasis in the Greek text, which reads literally, No one (or nobody) is able two masters (or two lords) to serve.

 

For introduces an explanation of no man can serve two masters. It is a general truth which Jesus applies to God and mammon at the end of the verse.

 

Either and or introduce two possibilities, only one of which will be true.

 

One situation is he will hate the one, and love the other.

 

The one refers to one master; whereas, the other refers to the other master. Other implies other (or another) of a different kind. Both the one and the other have been placed in positions of emphasis in the Greek text, which reads literally, For the one he will hate, and the other he will love. One master will inevitably be followed or obeyed more than the other.

 

Hate and love are the extremes of treatment two different masters might receive; and Jesus’ use of the extremes was likely intended to show an emphatic contrast between the ways two masters would be treated.

 

Or else introduces a second possibility: he will hold to the one, and despise the other. He will hold to the one is he will cling to one or he will be devoted to one.

 

And despise the other is and he will look down on (i.e. scorn or treat with contempt) the other, which implies that he will consider him to be of little value. Again, the other is other or another (of a different kind).

 

Once again, Jesus illustrates that Ye cannot serve God and mammon, i.e. that you who are listening to Jesus are not able to serve God and money. The scribes and Pharisees, who were serving money, were not able to serve God. They needed to be saved so that they would receive a genuine desire to serve God.

CONCLUSION:

 

What is it you are serving? What is your aim in life?

 

We have seen that we must be exclusively devoted to God because the things of the world are so perishable, because otherwise our vision is adversely affected, and because it is impossible to serve two masters.

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