Answerable to the One: Devotional Commentary for December 13-19
This is the Word of God. May the Spirit of Truth give us Wisdom and Insight to receive what has been conveyed through His Word by His Inspiration.
And Jesus continued:
22The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.
23But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
In last week's meditation, Jesus showed us the connection between our allegiance and the focus of our attention and affections. Whatever we treasure the most, says Jesus, draws our attention, affections, and the focus of our heart. It would not be unnatural to pledge our allegiance to the treasure that captivates the passion of our heart. That is why Jesus admonished us to lay up treasure in heaven so that our heart would not be focused on perishing earthly fortune.
Jesus refers to the physical eye, its functions, and its relationship to the body, to illustrate His point. The eye is a part of the body that brings light and visual perspective to one’s body and the direction one chooses to take. The eye is the lamp of the body. It guides the body in the direction it wishes to go.
But if the eye is dark and has no light, if the eye is evil, then the body will be lost in darkness. In like manner, compares Jesus, if the heart is guided by earthly passion, then it would be groping in the dark dominions of corruption and perishable treasures. A heart captured by the corrupt influences of the temporal security of earthly treasures is the same as a body cumbered with the fetters of darkness in the eye.
Ultimately, the implications in Jesus' Words are simple and direct. We cannot pledge our allegiance to Christ and still have the focus of our heart on earthly treasures. Such a cunning attitude or behavior is duplicitous and deceitful. The Disciple of Jesus Christ cannot have his or her attention divided between God and one's earthly possession.
Our relationship with God is exclusive. We cannot serve God's Will and our own carnal passion at the same time. We must choose one and reject the other.
A double-minded focus will ultimately collapse. Therefore, our heart's focus must be fixed on our heavenly treasure secured for us by Jesus Christ. Our heart is free from darkness because it is illumed by God's Light. Let us not return to the darkness we left behind.
As noted in recent meditations, Jesus concluded a summary of at least four major areas of the Christians' life which require commitment and focused attention. These are: charity, prayer, fasting, and stewardship. The Christian struggles with these and other aspects of sacred living often because of unstable focus. That is the difference between the godly and the hypocrite.
The godly is genuinely motivated by one's love for the Lord. But the hypocrite is driven by personal ambition to achieve public acclamation. The godly lives with the Lord in the humble spirit of service. But the hypocrite lives in the selfish desires of one's own need for self-esteem. The godly is focused on one's treasure laid up in heaven. But the hypocrite is consumed by earthly opulence. The godly is committed to God and strives to be faithful. But the hypocrite lives to serve his or her own interest.
The choice is clear. We cannot pledge our allegiance to God and to the corrupt world at the same time. But the choice is even clearer when we consider our exclusive relationship with God. Since our heart belongs to God—for it is purchased with the precious Blood of Jesus Christ, our temporal preferences are annulled by God's sovereign choice. We cannot recommit to another, the heart we have already surrendered to God.
We have been chosen to receive redeeming Grace. We have not chosen God. He chose us. We have been born into a new creation in Christ. We serve the living God. We have been commissioned to a heavenly calling. Our treasure is laid up for us in heaven by Jesus Christ. Therefore, our heart ought to be focused on our treasure in heaven.
No, we cannot serve God and money at the same time. We must serve God Who did not spare His Son from death on the Cross to redeem us for Himself. We have one God, one Lord, one Savior, one Redeemer, and one Father Who is God the Almighty, the sovereign LORD.