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June 18

FOCUS:    Serve only the Lord.

Reflection

00:00 / 02:39

In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus makes two key points: the first quite briefly, the second more expansively.

 

The first point is one on which our Christian life hinges: who (or what) is your God? In the original Greek, the word translated as ‘serve’ is douleuein from doulos; slave. The word ‘master’ kurios denotes absolute ownership. Who (or again, what) is your absolute master whom you serve unwaveringly? The alternative to God, according to Jesus, is mammon which originally meant a material possession. It came to mean a possession important or valuable enough to be entrusted as surety or held in safe deposit. The word itself was frequently capitalized to indicate the importance of the possession; a possession more important or valuable than anything (or anyone) else.

 

To give possessions their proper perspective in the Christian life, Scripture teaches the following:

  1. All good things come from/belong to God.

  2. People are more important than things

  3. Wealth is a subordinate good i.e. possession of wealth is not a sin but a responsibility. Paul says ‘the love of money’ not money itself ‘is the root of all evils’. How we use what we have is more important than what we have.

Once He has established the ground rule for life i.e. God is first, Christ goes on to expand on worry over things. The Greek word here, merimnam, refers to anxious worry. He give seven rabbinical arguments and defenses against anxious worry, primarily from nature. Our worry certainly can’t change the past and can only influence the future to the extent that it alters our future behavior.

 

Christ then effectively returns to His initial point: “seek the Kingdom of God… and all… will be given to you…”