For Where Your Treasure Is…
Today’s passage continues yesterday’s. Jesus is telling his disciples that money and things are the least of their worries (assuming that we have any worries – which as people of faith, we shouldn’t). But before moving on to what Jesus is saying, let us begin with what Jesus is not saying.
Jesus is not saying that we can choose not to work, be lazy, and just trust him to provide (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Proverbs speaks against this in too many places to cite. And I don’t think that Jesus is saying that we should not make plans for the future. We certainly should not worry about the future, knowing that there is nothing we can do about it; however, we can and should save money, first that we may give to others (Ephesians 4:28), and second, that we may support ourselves and our family (1 Timothy 5:8). So let us put these matters to rest.
So what is Jesus saying? First and foremost, as we noted yesterday, he commands us to put the Kingdom of God first in our lives. And we all know that this is harder than it sounds. As creatures in this world, who are very much (too much) accustomed to this world, we naturally act as people of this world. But we are aliens, exiles, sojourners, pilgrims, people passing through (Hebrews 11:13; 1 Peter 1:11, 17, 2:11). Our focus must be on Kingdom things. This will look different for each of us as we each have our differing gifts and callings; but whatever we are doing and wherever we happen to be, we must be thinking about how we can serve the Kingdom in that place – not just about making a dollar or enjoying ourselves. In this way, we gain treasure in heaven, not that God owes us anything, but He loves to reward the deeds He does through us.
And this is (it seems to me) what this passage, and yesterday’s, is about – not first and foremost about money, but first and foremost about serving our Lord. And he gives us some wonderful promises: 1) That it is our Father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom; 2) That He knows what we need before we even ask; and, 3) That if we put the Kingdom first in our lives, all those things we worry about will be taken care of. In other words, Jesus is saying, “Trust me; put my word to the test; put the Kingdom first and see if your life won’t be so much happier, peaceful, and fuller than you could ever imagine.” Best of all, all those vain things we worry about – houses, cars, clothing, in short, appearances – will disappear before the reality of God, his Kingdom, and his heaven.