"THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT"
Materialism (Mt 6:19-24)
1. Jesus continues to expound upon the "righteousness of the kingdom"
WITH RESPECT TO MAN'S RELATION TO GOD...
2. In this section and the one to follow (concerning anxiety), we learn
that man must have his priorities concerning material things properly
aligned if his relationship with God is going to be what it should
[To keep our priorities straight, Jesus taught several principles and
illustrations which should govern our lives...]
I. LAY UP YOUR TREASURES IN HEAVEN Mt 6:19-21
A. IN HEAVEN, NOT ON EARTH...
1. For on earth:
a. Moth and rust destroy (i.e., material things are perishable)
b. Thieves break in and steal (material things are subject to
2. But in heaven:
a. Neither moth nor rust destroys (our treasures are imperishable) -
1 Pe 1:3-4
b. Thieves do not break in and steal (our treasures are secure-
ly guarded) - Mt 6:19
B. BECAUSE WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE YOUR "HEART" (AFFECTIONS,
HOPE, DREAMS) WILL BE ALSO.
1. If your treasure is on EARTH, your heart will experience much
a. As the things for which you have affection decay or are one
day destroyed by fire
b. As the things in which you find your primary joy are
suddenly gone through things like theft
2. But if your treasure is in HEAVEN, your heart will not suffer
a. For your treasure is "incorruptible, undefiled, and does not
b. Nothing can take your treasure away from you, for it is
"reserved in heaven for you...kept by the power of God
3. With treasures laid up in heaven, whatever happens on earth
will not devastate you. - cf. the Hebrew Christians in Heb 10:32-34
4. When these words of Jesus are taken to heart and applied, how
true His words in Mt 7:24-27 will be.
a. The "storms" of life will not overwhelm us
b. Because we have built our foundation upon such words of
Jesus as found in our text.
C. HOW CAN WE LAY UP TREASURE IN HEAVEN?
1. First, by becoming children of God, and thereby "joint-heirs
with Christ" - Ro 8:16-17
2. Then, by using material wealth which we may have to bless those
a. As Jesus instructed the rich young ruler, in order to "have
treasure in heaven" - Mt 19:21
b. As He instructed His disciples, in order to have "a treasure
in the heavens that does not fail" - Lk 12:33-34
c. As Paul wrote Timothy to charge those rich in this present
age, that they may be "storing up for themselves a good
foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on
eternal life" - 1 Ti 6:17-19
[The importance of such generosity is seen in the illustration next
used by Jesus in His sermon...]
II. THE LAMP OF THE BODY IS THE EYE Mt 6:22-23
A. IN THIS METAPHOR USED BY JESUS...
1. The "body" likely represents the "soul" or "inner man"
2. The "eye" likely represents the "gaze of the soul" or the
"heart of man"
3. The word "good" in Greek means "simple, single, uncomplicated"
4. The word "bad" in Greek means "wicked, evil"
5. And in the Scriptures, the expression "evil eye" is used to
mean "envious, covetous" - cf. Mt 20:15; Mk 7:22
Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye,
neither desire thou his dainty meals; - Pr 23:6
B. AN EXPLANATION BASED UPON THESE DEFINITIONS WOULD THEN BE:
1. If the heart or gaze of the soul be single (in its love of God
and the things of God)...
a. Then one is filled with "light"
b. In other words, goodness, righteousness, and truth - cf. Ep 5:8-10
2. But if the heart or gaze of the soul be evil (envious or
a. Then one's soul is filled with "darkness"
b. The opposite of "light": selfishness, wickedness, and
[Thus the need to be rich toward God and free from covetousness of
material things is vital to our spiritual well-being
(compare Lk 12:13-21; especially v15 and v21).
To emphasize the point that we should not make material things our
treasures in this life, Jesus proclaims...]
III. YOU CANNOT SERVE BOTH GOD AND MAMMON v24
A. FOR NO ONE CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS...
1. A "master" by definition demands "total loyalty"
2. Such is certainly true with God - cf. Exod 34:14
B. THE CHOICE WE HAVE IS TO CHOOSE BETWEEN GOD AND "MAMMON"
1. "Mammon" is an Aramaic term which refers to wealth, prosperity
2. When wealth is coveted and becomes the priority in our lives,
it becomes a "god" - cf. Ep 5:5; Co 3:5
3. So the choice becomes whether we shall worship the
One True God, or be idolators following after a false god.
1. Jesus is obviously teaching us to CHOOSE GOD!
a. Because MAMMON...
1) Is susceptible to decay and theft - Vs 19-21
2) Will make us blind, selfish creatures
b. Whereas with GOD...
1) Our treasures are secure
2) We will be kind, righteous people
2. But if we follow Jesus' teachings concerning MATERIAL THINGS, what
about our physical necessities of life? Don't we have to WORRY about
providing these things?
Our next study will examine what Jesus taught about ANXIETY over our
physical necessities in this life...
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