A Quick Review of the Teachings of Jesus
Text: Matthew 6 : 19 - 34
Let’s take a quick review of what Jesus taught His disciples. We may categorize what Jesus taught in the following four categories.
1. How blessings may be obtained (The Beatitudes – Matthew 5:1-12).
2. Popular but false interpretations of the Scriptures reviewed and corrected (Matthew 5:21-48).
3. Popular but false religious practices addressed and corrected (Matthew 6:1-18).
4. Challenges to live as genuine and good children of God (Matthew 5:13-20; 6:44-48).
What was Jesus driving at? Was He only giving religious instructions to His Disciples? On closer examination of the text, we may conclude that Jesus was teaching His disciples how to understand the most fundamental of issues. How does the believer-disciple live out his profession of faith?
THE PURSUIT OF TREASURES ON EARTH
Jesus dealt with an issue that continues to dominate the lives of many people today.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures
on earth, where moth and rust destroy,
and where thieves break in and steal…”
It wasn’t so long ago, when Satan tempted Jesus and offered Him all the riches of the world (Matthew 4:8-9). This offer was rejected outright. Jesus saw through the wiles of the devil. He knew the price that He would have to pay if He were to receive the treasures that Satan offered. He would end up serving and worshipping the devil! That thought could not be contemplated at all!
However, Jesus knew that many were sorely tested by the devil. Many were indeed tempted to lay up treasures for themselves on earth! But what were treasures on earth, in actual fact? Treasures on earth were not permanent things. They were mere perishable goods. “Moth, rust, and thieves” could get at them!
It is one thing to ask the Lord to provide our daily bread. It is quite another to devote one’s life to laying up treasures on earth!
THE CHALLENGE OF PURSUING TREASURES IN HEAVEN
Jesus offered a significant alternative, even as He taught His disciples not to search for earthly treasures.
“But lay up for yourselves treasures in
heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys
and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
There was such a concept as “treasures in heaven”. What were these treasures Jesus extolled and urged His disciples to seek after? If we were to ponder over this text in the context of the teachings of Jesus then we would have to say that the teachings of Jesus would be treasures worth pursuing after. The things that Jesus taught would last not only a lifetime on earth, they would be as valuable in heaven.
THE THINGS THAT GOD TREASURES
The treasures in heaven must surely be the things that God prizes. Let us consider this word from the Book of Deuteronomy.
“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your
God require of you, but to fear the Lord your
God, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him,
to serve the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul, and to keep the
commandments of the Lord and His statutes
which I command you today for your good?
The list of treasures may be listed as follows:-
1. To fear the Lord.
2. To walk in all His ways.
3. To love Him.
4. To serve Him with devotion.
5. To keep His laws.
If we were to examine carefully what Jesus had been seeking to teach His disciples, we would realize that He too had been teaching them how to practise the above.
1. “Hallowed be Your Name… ” is the same as fearing the Lord.
2. Paying heed to the Beatitudes would be the same as walking in God’s ways.
3. Cultivating a deeply meaningful relationship in prayer would be one way of expressing love for God.
4. “Your will be done…” is the same as serving the Lord.
5. To listen to Jesus’ teachings and to keep them is the same as keeping God’s law.
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
The heart of the matter is the human heart itself. Jesus knew where the real problem lay. The heart had to decide what really mattered in life. What did the heart really treasure? That which the heart treasures would determine the pursuits of life.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”