As I’ve said before, and will probably say again, Jesus doesn’t waste words. Everything he said has meaning and was for a purpose. Therefore, overlooking something he said, no matter how small, will at best lead to a loss of the full meaning and impact of what he was saying. I want to look at one example of this.
In Matthew 6:24-26, Jesus states: 24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?
Jesus discusses two masters (God and mammon) that compete for our devotion and love, and then immediately tells that worry is to have no place in our lives. In connecting the devotion to one master and the worries of life, Jesus uses the phrase “for this reason…” It’s easy to gloss over that phrase, but it actually tells us that the inability to serve two masters – God and mammon, is the reason that we shouldn’t worry.
So what is “mammon?” You can study this further, but essentially mammon is the confidence that accompanies wealth. “Confidence” appears to be the root meaning of this word. The pursuit of confidence by means of riches and the pursuit of confidence by means of daily relationship with the spiritual God and Father are opposed to each-other. Not only are they opposed, but devotion to one of these means of confidence will lead to a despising of the other.
That was Jesus’ point. If one finds confidence and assurance in wealth, then one essentially becomes the servant of mammon – because mammon is what your trust in and pursue. By default, you cannot at the same time be a servant of God – dependent upon and pursuing Him. To trust in God alone takes faith, which is a spiritual confidence. Mammon is the confidence of the soul of man, which is based purely on the world’s system and is devoid of any knowledge of God. Jesus later says the “Gentiles,” the peoples with no knowledge of God, seek mammon. But to those who know God, this is tantamount to idolatry, if not worse, because mammon replaces God as that in which we trust and serve. No small thing. Jesus reminds us that God provides for even small creatures, and certainly we are more valuable than they.
Faith is spiritual confidence, based on relationship with God and hearing His voice. Mammon is worldly confidence, based on the principles of the world and totally absent of God-awareness.
I may talk more about faith and it’s origin soon. Seek to know God and hear His voice, which I am becoming more and more convinced is the basis for the life of a child of God. Seek desperately and you’ll find Him. Any other pursuit and source of confidence is probably mammon, and will cut you off from relationship with God. God bless you.