Study text: Matthew 6: 19-34
The Danger of Materialism:
Material things are necessary in life, but when one “lays up” treasures for selfish purposes he exposes himself to sore disappointments, for wealth degenerates and thieves pry upon the prosperity of others (vv. 19-20). How one uses his material resources is an index to the condition of his heart (v. 21).
Christ described the “eye” as the “lamp” of the body and commended what he called the “single” eye. The Greek word for “single” frequently has to do with generosity (Rom. 12:8; Jas. 1:5). The generous person lives the illuminated life, while the stingy individual languishes in a very dark existence (vv. 21-23). Materialism is a form of idolatry (cf. Col. 3:5), and no person can serve multiple masters. The one who attempts lip service to his heavenly Father, yet is consumed with materialism, has a split personality—a spiritual psychological abnormality (v. 24).
Closely connected with materialism is the baggage of anxiety (worry). The wrong type of worry is both sinful and destructive. (a) Worry is illogical. Life is more than the material; one’s attention should be focused toward heaven, not wallowing in frustration concerning temporal things. Further, if God takes care of his lesser creatures, won’t he see to the needs of his people? (vv. 25-26; 28-30). (b) Anxiety is futile; it changes nothing. It adds neither height of stature nor length of life (v. 27). (c) Worry reflects a weak faith. Being obsessed over material things to the point of distraction partakes more of the spirit of heathenism than it does confidence in God (v. 31-32). Accordingly, the true disciple: (a) must “seek” (an obligatory action); (b) “first” (priority); (c) the “kingdom” of God (the object); and (d) the necessities of life will be supplied (v. 33; cf. Psa. 37:25). Do not fret over the future; handle your problems one day at a time (v. 34)
Wayne Jackson, A New Testament Commentary
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