Where is Your Treasure- Matthew 6:19-21

In Matthew 6:19-24, Jesus gives three teachings which at first blush seem to be unrelated, like three stories randomly thrown together, one about treasures, one about eyes, and one about masters. An examination of this passage will reveal that these teachings are not unrelated, but deliberately strung together to make a specific point. We will begin here with a closer look at the teaching about treasures in verses 19-21. Jesus begins here with a prohibition, telling us “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth…, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven”. With the use of the “do not, but” combination here, Jesus is telling us something about human nature, that it is natural and normal for us to “store up treasures”. The question is not whether we store up treasures, but rather where we store up our treasures. This becomes more clear when we see that the Greek word translated “treasures” here is thesaurous, literally “that which is precious”. We treasure what is precious to us, we will seek after and devote our energies to obtaining what is most precious to us. By then telling us to store up treasures in heaven rather than on earth, Jesus refers not so much to the location of what we treasure, but to the nature of what we treasure. He is telling us here to let what is most precious “in heaven” be most precious to us, that we are to devote our time and energy into seeking after what is most precious to God, not into seeking after what is most precious to the world. We should also note here that Jesus tells us to store up “for yourselves”, treasures, in this pointing out another facet of human nature, that we are by nature cretures who act in self interest, which Jesus appeals to here. We do naturally what we feel is in our own best interest, and Jesus does not deny that or condemn it here, He merely tells us what is truly in our best interest, that storing up treasures in heaven is the better, wiser choice, will bring more benefit to us in the long run. Jesus then concludes this first teaching by telling us that “where your treasure is, their your heart will be also”. It is commonly thought that this verse tells us that where our heart is, their our treasure will be, but that is not the case, the order here is “treasure”, then “heart”. In this Jesus tells us something else about human nature, that our heart will seek after what we “treasure”, what is most precious to us. What is most precious to us will effect the condition of our heart. The heart, in the Bible, is the center of the person, and it determines the way a person thinks, feels, desires and behaves. We think, feel, act and desire with our hearts, and so what is most precious to us will ultimately influence how we think, feel and act, as well as what we desire, what we seek after. What is most precious to us will, to a great extent, determine the course of our lives, will determine what we say, do, feel and seek after. This is why Jesus tells us first to let what is most precious to God be most precious to us, for when we do so, we will naturally seek after and pursue what is most precious to God, and our thinking, speaking, behaving and desiring will begin to be more like what Jesus thinks, says, does and desires. The critical factor here, then, is what we treasure, what is most precious to us. May it be true of all of us that we treasure what God treasures, not what the world treasures, for where our treasure is, their our heart will be also.

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