Summary: Jesus wants us to say, "I will let nothing cloud my vision."
July 15, 2001
The Treasure Chest – Part 3
An elderly man was desperately ill. Knowing the time for his departure was near, he called for his closest friends to come see him one last time. Attending him were his doctor, his pastor and his business manager.
The old man said, “I know you can’t take it with you, but who knows for sure? What if the experts are mistaken? I want to account for all possibilities. So I’m giving you each an envelope containing $100,000. When I die, I want you each to slip the envelope in my jacket pocket at the funeral service. Then, if I do need money in the life to come, I’ll be ready. And I’m giving the envelopes to you because you are my most trusted friends.”
Shortly thereafter, the man did die. Each of his three friends was seen slipping something into the deceased’s coat pocket as he walked up to the casket to pay his final respects.
Following the service, while these friends were visiting with each other, the doctor, with a sheepish look on his face, said, “Guys, I have a confession to make. You know with the cost of medicine today, I don’t make that much money. The hospital is desperate for funds. We can’t even replace the CAT scan machine that’s broken down. So, I took $20,000 for the new CAT scan and put the rest in the coffin.”
The minister cleared his throat and looked down at his shoes. He said, “I, too, have a confession to make. As you know, our church is seriously overburdened by the needs of the homeless.
I couldn’t just see burying that money. So, in hopes of helping the homeless, I took $50,000 out of the envelope and put the rest in his pocket.”
Looking sternly at the doctor and the minister, the businessman exclaimed, “I can’t believe what I’m hearing. I am astonished and deeply disappointed that you would treat a solemn trust so casually. He was our friend. I want you to know that I placed in his casket my personal check for the full $100,000.” (From Sins We Love, by Randy Rowland, p. 125-126)
That’s not a knock on businessmen. It could have been anyone. But it illustrates that inside each of us, there is a tendency toward greed.
In Matthew 6, Jesus has been teaching on treasures. He’s reminded us that treasures on earth aren’t safe, and that treasures in heaven are the wisest investment possible, because they truly are a bargain.
Now he wants to help us achieve the perspective required of one who stores up treasures in heaven.
Big Idea: I will let nothing cloud my vision.
“I will let nothing cloud my vision.” This morning we’re going to learn from Jesus, why this is an important statement for us. Then we’ll finish up by looking at some steps we can take for better spriritual eyesight.
TRANSITION: To have this kind of perspective (where nothing clouds our vision) we need to understand what Jesus is saying about our eyes. He would have us realize…
I. MY FOCUS IMPACTS MY LIFE
Where we fix our eyes and heart affects our life. In fact Jesus, says, If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.
When Jesus talks of eyes being “good” he uses a word that is difficult to translate. Its various meanings are healthy, undivided, generous or single. Here . . .
A. The “good” eye represents a single focus
Jesus says, The eye is the lamp of the body.
Of course, this isn’t literal, because the eye doesn’t let light into the body. However, almost everything the body does depends on our ability to see. The eye “illumines” what the body does.
ILLUS - Last Sunday night after the church picnic, Greg and I were returning some things to the youth house with Keith Grundhofer. I went in the back door, flipped on the light switch, no light. So dark in there I couldn’t see a thing. But I knew the basic layout of the house so I walked through the kitchen with my hands out in front of me, bumping into the counter, the refrigerator, finally made it to the door, opened it, and light came in. I needed my eyes to guide me where I was going – but there was no light.
Jesus is comparing “heartsight” to eyesight. To “set the heart” and to “fix the eye” are synonymous. Earlier we learned that Jesus talked about the importance of having our heart in the right place (Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also). Now, he wants us to realize the importance of having eyes that are sound and healthy.
The reasoning goes like this: Just as our physical eye affects our whole body, so our ambition (where we set our eyes and heart) – our focus – affects our whole life. Our minds determine the direction of our lives. Whatever we focus on, we prioritize.