SUGGESTED VERSES FOR MEMORIZATION & MEDITATION
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness, how great is the darkness! (Matthew 6:22-23)
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Matthew 6:24)
As followers of Christ, we are citizens of God’s kingdom, and the Sermon on the Mount is Jesus’ guide for living in the kingdom of heaven. This means that the Beatitudes are not pretty and encouraging words from Jesus; they are Jesus’ characteristics for His followers. Christ’s statement on being the salt of the earth and the light of the world tells us our purpose. He then addressed heart-level obedience God’s commandments within the kingdom.
So far in chapter six, Jesus has addressed the topic of religious actions, specifically giving to the poor, prayer, and fasting. Though we might consider giving alms, praying, and fasting to be inherently good works, Christ explains that whenever we do them to be seen by others they are no longer good works. If we do religious works for others to notice, then we have already received our reward for doing them; instead, we should seek the reward from the Father.
Jesus now addresses the topic of reward. He warns us not to store up our treasures on earth, since those treasures cannot be destroyed or lost. Instead, we should seek the treasures of heaven, which are eternally secure. Key to this passage is understanding that we cannot do both. Our heart will always be with what we treasure, whether on earth or in heaven. If we store up treasure here, we will find ourselves serving money as our master, but if God is our treasure, we will be devoted to Him instead.
Read verses 19-21 and discuss the following.
- What does it mean for us to be the salt of the earth?
- Christ warns against salt losing its saltiness. Does this mean that Christ is saying that a Christian can lose his or her salvation?
Read verses 22-23 and discuss the following.
- Jesus claims that the eye is the lamp of the body. What does this statement mean? How is it connected to verses 19-21 and verse 24?Read verse 24 and discuss the following.
- Here Christ explicitly claims that we will serve a master, but we cannot serve two masters. How can we evaluate which master we serve?
ACTIONS TO CONSIDER
- Obey. Prayerfully evaluate whether God is your master or if you serve another master, considering whether you store earthly or heavenly treasure. Does your life display the characteristics of the kingdom of heaven?
- Pray. Ask the Lord for the grace to serve Him alone, laying up your treasures in heaven.