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Sermon on the Mount: Money

What did Jesus say about wealth?


Money, you can’t live with it and you can’t live without it. Money is a necessary part of life. We all need money and most of us would like at least a little extra money for those special treats. But when we become so focused on money that we lose sight of what is really important that is when the troubles start.

In the Sermon on the Mount Matthew 6:19-24, Jesus warned against making money into a god. As part of this teaching Jesus says that people should be rich in good deeds and love. It is in such behaviour that true treasure can be found, rather than in selfish acts.

Nobody can serve two masters. If money becomes the master it can lead to bad decisions, walking over others to get to the top, taking bribes, or fighting over material possessions.

Jesus isn’t saying that to have money is wrong, just that it is important to have values like love, kindness, and freedom. Jesus is saying that a life purely spent on gaining material wealth means that one will miss out on true wealth, such as building relationships with others, fighting against injustice, and spending time with God. Jesus also goes on to talk about trusting God to provide you with what you need Matthew 6:25-34

The early Christians didn’t always get this right. In the New Testament, Paul’s letter to Timothy states:

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

1 Timothy 6:10

It is clear that money isn’t a bad thing, rather it is the LOVE of money that causes problems.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." Matthew 7:19-24