Summary: In a world where we are pushed to define ourselves on the basis of money - and all that money gives - Jesus calls us to make a stark choice.
“It is Either God or Money”.
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Who loves math?
Subtraction, addition, multiplication, division.
Some of us love it but most of us don’t. Because over time some genius decided that having numbers in math was not enough. So they introduced letters. And then you get all these weird symbols and complicated equations.
I found this math equation on the internet.
(The equation I used is here http://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/2trillionmethods.htm)
The Australian mathematician Burkard Polster came up with this equation to the number of different lacing methods that were possible for a shoe that has 12 eyelets. If you want to know the answer is 43,200.
Our world is full of complicated math, which most of us don’t love and most of us are not even interested in.
But in the Bible the math is very simple. One equation in Matthew 6:24 is an example of the simple math.
You cannot serve both God and Money.
Put the two names up on a chalk board and rub out one name.
God or Money.
Except it is not so simple.
Money is not just a medium of exchange.
In our culture money gives status and security.
It can make us feel strong and important.
Going out with friends and having a bankcard filled with money gives us confidence.
“Because I have money I am somebody” … is sometimes the way we think.
Without money we feel insecure, insignificant, vulnerable and concerned.
So when Jesus says
It’s God or Money … It’s one or the other.
… We know we are faced with a hard saying that presents us with a hard choice.
So let’s have a look at this hard saying. And to do so properly we need to read it in context.
Read Matthew 6:19-24
When we see the context we realise that Jesus is confronting us with the reality of clear and stark contrasts.
It’s one … or it the other. Not both … and.
It’s black and white. Not shades of grey (and certainly not 50 shades of grey).
I’m in this field, or I am in that field. I am not sitting on the fence.
In life there are times when we have a clear choice.
Jesus gives us three specific examples of these clear choices.
Two banks (Matthew 6:19-21)
One is the Bank of Earth and one is the Bank of Heaven. Both will take your treasure.
In one bank, the Bank of Earth, moth and rust will get to our treasures. All the stuff we put our energy into in this world:-
- our work and financial security.
- our study and our desire for status.
- our homes and material possessions.
- our collections and our addictions.
All of these treasures are going to be taken away at some point. It is like putting water into a bucket with holes in it. You keep pouring in the water but you have nothing to show for your effort. It just all runs away. Moth and rust.
We get a boyfriend then, once we are bored with him or find something more interesting, we move on to another boy. The relationship has rusted.