Regarding Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, we often hear that it contains “hard sayings.” Maybe these sayings are something we’d just as soon not hear, because they’re difficult to follow. Maybe they’re difficult to understand. Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV) contains a saying that’s both. “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…For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
We get what it means to store up treasures on earth. That means money, valuables, things. But storing up treasures in heaven? How do we get money to heaven? Or are we talking about a different kind of treasure in heaven vis-a-vis earth?
Jesus gave us guidance in Matthew 19 when he told a rich young man that in order to follow him, he needed to sell all he had and give the proceeds to the poor. Then Jesus said something we tend to overlook: “[A]nd you will have treasure in heaven.” (19:21) Wasn’t Jesus saying that what we do with our treasure on earth determines whether we have treasure in heaven? And was he also saying that we must give away our treasure on earth in order to have treasure in heaven?
Paul may have had this in mind when he wrote: “Command those who are rich…to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation of the coming age…” (I Timothy 6:17-19)
Paul also wrote of transcendent riches coming from the “Spirit of wisdom and revelation” that allows us to know Christ better and enlightens the eyes of our hearts to see “the riches of his glorious inheritance.” (Ephesians 1:17-18)
More later? Absolutely.