This month's Series is on The Gospel According to Matthew. Here is the summary for Matthew 6:1-18...
In Matthew chapter 6, Jesus CONSISTENTLY presented a Right WHAT with a Wrong HOW/WHY to show that the result was no Reward.
Then Jesus presented the SAME Right WHAT with a Right HOW/WHY that resulted in Reward.
Clearly, Jesus was more focused on the HOW/WHY than the WHAT. Truth is a Right WHAT (fact) with a Right HOW/WHY (which creates). Deception is a Right WHAT with a Wrong (OR NO) HOW/WHY.
Jesus' Premiere Teaching taught Doctrine by contrasting Truth with Deception. Which one are you focused on: the WHAT or the HOW/WHY?
"19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 for where thy treasure is, there will thy heart be also."
(Clearly, Jesus told us to focus on SPIRITUAL value instead of PHYSICAL value. The first eighteen verses of Matthew 6 showed us HOW to have Reward. Now, we see Jesus was BLATANTLY telling us to have SPIRITUAL Reward. A friend of mine once talked to people from the team of a national minister who were setting up a speaking engagement in Green Bay. He talked to them about Justice and how to accumulate value. The men agreed and then said that we have to use that value NOW or we will lose it. Jesus literally said the OPPOSITE of that!)
(The last verse brings this back to THE HEART...the place that PROVES what you truly believe. Jesus said that you will put your treasure in the place that is an Effect of your beliefs. Since your heart determines your beliefs, your heart would be in the same place that followed your beliefs. However, we are going to see that the heart has a potential competitor...)
"22 The lamp of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
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 the darkness!"
(The Complete Jewish Bible gave an interesting interpretation of these verses. "22 `The eye is the lamp of the body.' So if you have a `good eye' [that is, if you are generous] your whole body will be full of light; 23 but if you have an `evil eye' [if you are stingy] your whole body will be full of darkness. If, then, the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!")
(This would agree with the rest of this chapter and continue the flow of the message. Look at this passage as saying WHAT YOU LOOK AT determined what the rest of your body would follow. I would say that WHAT YOU LOOK AT is an Effect of your heart. So, if your heart was focused on Spiritual Reward, then you would be generous in order to store up treasure in Heaven. If your heart was focused on Physical Reward, then you would be stingy in order to store up treasure here. In light of I John, we can also see that Jesus said that if you were generous, then God would be flowing through you to others. If you were stingy, then you hindered God from flowing through you to others.)
"24 No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
(You cannot serve God (Spiritual) and money (Physical). When there is a conflict you will have to pick one over the other...you will have to love one more and love the other less. If we can ONLY SERVE one and it OUGHT to be God, then HOW OUGHT we to relate to money? Money OUGHT to serve us!)
I realize this is a short passage (six verses) to cover in a post, but it was a critical transition in this chapter.
The first eighteen verses of Matthew chapter 6 showed that Jesus gave a series of examples of HOW to get Spiritual Reward vs. HOW to get Physical Reward. Then, in this six verse section, we see that Jesus encouraged us to focus on intentionally getting Spiritual Reward instead of Physical Reward. Jesus' mini-conclusion was that you are going to have to pick one, so pick Spiritual Reward because it would last forever. From this point, Jesus told us HOW to relate to Physical things...