Matthew 6:19-24: Treasure In Heaven

Read: Matthew 6:19-24

What one sets his eyes on, that he will desire. And what one desires, so there his heart will be. This truth is plainly evident in the lives of so many people. Jesus notes this in the middle of two sayings concerning wealth. In the first, Jesus encourages his hearers to accumulate heavenly wealth and the second teaches that one cannot serve both money and God. A similar teaching to what Jesus is saying can be found in Ecclesiastes 5:8-18. As the Preacher reflects back on his life, he realizes that the one thing that makes life worth living is his relationship to God. The warning though that the pursuit of wealth or anything else for that matter as an end in and of itself or as way to find meaning results in the emptiness – and this is what the Preacher calls “vanity”. While wealth is not inherently evil, it can be evil. The Bible does neither condemns or condones having money. But it does instruct that money should be used for good (1 Timothy 6:11-21, Proverbs 3:9-10) rather than evil (James 5:1-6), but the pursuit of money for the sake of being wealthy is shunned (Proverbs 23:4-45).

The crux of the matter, as is with most all of Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, has to do with the condition of one’s heart. A hear that his focused on the accumulation of wealth or anything other than the pursuit of God is really one’s other master. It is for this reason that Paul encourages Christians to be be content with what one has (1 Timothy 6:6-8, Philippians 4:11) but never satisfied with where one is at in his struggle against sin. The Bible unequivocally affirms that that it is better to be righteous than wealthy (Proverbs 15:16-17, Proverbs 16:8).

For the Christian contentment can only be found in Jesus. When one finds contentment on Jesus then one can rightly pursue the other things in life. Proverbs 3:5-6 and Psalm 37:3-6 affirm that when one trust God in all things then in this God can direct one’s path. The key though is first trusting and delighting in God. Jesus himself later says, “Seek first the kingdom…” (Matthew 6:33) In doing so, God will become one’s passion and his will will be the believer’s desire too. This is why the promise of the Psalms and Proverbs is that God will give the desires of the heart and direct the path.

Lord, fill my eyes with visions of you!