Summary: There are "Thou Shalts..." and "Thou Shalt not.." in the Ten Commandments. Same way, there are "Thou Shalts...blessed are those..." and "Thou Shalt not...Do not" in the Sermon on the Mount.
There are parallels between the Sermon on the Mount and the Ten Commandments. Jesus said, “You have heard it said, you shall not murder, but I say unto you…” And He adds to that commandment that it is not just about murder, but about what is happening in the heart.
In the similar way, you have several “Thou Shalts..” in the Ten Commandments, and you also have several, “Thou Shalt nots..”
In the Sermon on the Mount, there are also several “Thou shalts…” So you have the Beatitudes, “O how happy are those…” “Blessed are the poor in spirit…blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake..” positive statements for the child of the Kingdom of God. There are also “Thou shalt not’s” for the child of the Kingdom.
We will look at Five Thou Shalt Not’s from Matthew 6:19-7:6
1. Do not settle for earthly treasures
2. Do not worry
3. Do not judge
4. Do not give sacred things to dogs
5. Do not give pearls to pigs
We will focus more on the first three.
1. Do not settle for earthly treasures – Matthew 6:19 -24
A man really liked nice things. Everyone who wanted to look good had this special watch on them. This man got a Rolex watch and he was drawing attention through it. He felt he needed a car to match his watch. He was eyeing the Mercedes, C 220. When he got enough money, he got one of these Mercedes.
One day, he was driving a little too fast on the Bangalore-Mysore road and went over the speed bump, which he did not notice. He simply flew over the speed bump, and his car did some flips and was thrown out of the car. The police arrived on the team and a medical team tried to get him on the ambulance.
They were asking him if he was doing okay?
He said, “Yes.”
They said that he was in an accident.
He said, “I was in an accident? What happened to my car?”
The police officer said that his car was destroyed. And this man cried, “Ah, my Mercedes!”
The police officer said, “Sir, why are you so worried about your Mercedes? In the accident you lost your arm!”
And he said, “My arm? Which arm?”
The police said, “Your left arm.”
And he said, “My Rolex…my Rolex.”
Sometimes, we are so focused on physical, earthly things; these things of the world- really just come and go.
Recently I was in a hospital with someone going through treatment. He had to go through surgery. We were talking to the doctor, and were trying to find out how much it would cost. This person, who was the patient, said, “You know, money comes and goes. Money does not matter. Life is here and that is the important thing.” That is a good perspective for us to have. Life is more valuable than these pieces of paper we carry around in our wallets.
In those days, many people literally wore their wealth. Clothing could be very expensive. One of the ways people would demonstrate that they are financially well off were they would wear something fancy. Clothing was made of cotton or wool, and you leave them for a while, moths get in and they just eat it up.
Most people did not have banks, so if they had trinkets of jewellery, they would have a hole in the wall and stick their precious thing in there and put the stone back. Treasures were literally hidden. If a thief came, he had to break the wall to find the treasure. So moth and rust can consume your wealth and thieves can break in and steal.
Jesus is telling here, where your treasure is that is where one’s heart is also. And one cannot store treasures in heaven and on earth at the same time. If you are going to store up treasures in heaven, you will have to distribute your treasures on earth. That is the way God has designed it to be. This does not mean we neglect financial responsibility, as Scripture does not teach us that.
Have you ever watched a bird stand up on the telephone wire and hold its mouth open, and wait for God to drop food in? I have never seen it happen. Nor do we see birds begging for food. They peck, dig, find the worm and eat it. So we see here that God feeds them and they also take their responsibility. Some Christians just keep their mouths open waiting for God to fill them up – no – we need to keep busy, working and God will work through it to take care of our needs. But if that is all you are working for, you are working for the wrong thing.