In Matthew 6: 19-24, Jesus has three main teachings for Christians to apply in their lives. First, he talks about the importance of storing treasures in heaven where they cannot be destroyed (Bible Gateway, n.d). He explores the concepts of storing treasures in heaven (spiritual) and on earth (material). This teaching is very important because the human heart follows the treasure it pursues.
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Therefore, if an individual stores his treasure on earth, he spends time pursuing meaningless earthly endeavors that do not deliver their soul to God’s kingdom. Unlike earthly treasures that are destructible, heavenly treasures are indestructible and the most important for any Christian to pursue. Examples of heavenly treasures that Christians pursue include love, peace, generosity, kindness, compassion, and patience. Jesus calls on people to make the things of the heart (invisible) their priorities because they are valuable and eternal.
The second point that Jesus makes is that the heart (eyes) is an expression of the quality of a person’s life (Bible Gateway, n.d). The state of the heart determines the actions and thoughts of a person. For example, if a person’s heart is full of negative values such s jealousy, hatred, and anger, their thoughts and actions are a reflection of these values. On the other hand, if their heart is full of joy, generosity, and charity, their actions are governed by these values. The most important faculty in a person is that which controls all the other faculties.
A person’s understanding determines their perspective and the meaning they attribute to different things. If the understanding is positive and directed towards God, the life of the individual is full of good things. However, their understanding is dominated by evil; their life is characterized by evil outcomes. The third point that Jesus makes is that of serving one master (Bible Gateway, n.d).
He seeks to teach about the impossibility of succeeding in life by doing different things in tandem. It is impossible to serve God and pursue worldly pleasures at the same time. A Christian should choose between serving God and pursuing material possessions. Serving God requires great sacrifice and dedication that impels an individual to dedicate their whole heart into the ministry (Bloesch, 2005). As mentioned earlier, heavenly treasures are more valuable than earthly treasures.
An individual cannot seek and find them both concurrently. Therefore, they should decide which of the two treasures they intend to pursue. Christians face the challenge of balancing their lives in such a way that they do not allow their work, careers, and families to compromise their call to serve God.
These teachings are very relevant with regard to other worldviews because they offer directions to Christians regarding the best way to live their lives. In addition, they give meaning to their earthly endeavors, such as service to God and other people. The teachings enable Christians to find meaning in their daily practice of the teachings of Jesus and also understand why they have to suffer and sacrifice for the sake of the kingdom of God.
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Moreover, they help Christians to set their priorities right by pursuing their passions and talents, which are God-given. By serving only one master at a time, Christians pursue the most important endeavors in their lives (Bloesch, 2005). For instance, if they determine that their call is to serve God, then their mission directs their actions, thoughts, and behaviors in whatever they do. Their worldviews are controlled by their decision to serve God.
These teachings reveal that Jesus understood the importance of serving God in order to attain salvation, as well as the need for Christians to keep their hearts and minds pure. It can be deduced from these verses that Jesus was wise, and His main goal was to guide people to the kingdom of heaven because he was the Savior. In contemporary society, many people find it difficult to serve only one master. They embrace several things and try to do them at once.
This practice is against the teachings of Jesus. Christians are required to seek the kingdom of God first before embarking on other activities that obscure their spiritual purposes. The knowledge acquired from the aforementioned verses helps Christians to incorporate Jesus’ teachings into their daily lives as they seek the kingdom of God through their service to other people.
Jesus made many claims about the purpose and nature of His ministry. For instance, in Matthew 9: 9-13, he told the Pharisees that he did not come to save righteous people but sinners. He had dinner at Matthew’s house together with tax collectors and other people who were considered as sinners by the Pharisees (Bible Gateway n.d). The Pharisees believed that Jesus was not supposed to mingle with sinners because their lives went against His teachings and the will of God.
However, Jesus explained to them that the main purpose of His ministry was the salvation of sinners who were in need of God’s grace. His ministry was for people who were in need of God’s mercy and salvation (Bible Gateway, n.d). The righteous were at peace with God and, therefore, did not need His intervention. This claim is significant to Christians because it expresses Christ’s view regarding sinners. God does not discriminate and accepts people as they are.
Christians should not be afraid or ashamed to come into God’s presence because they have sinned. Jesus’ ministry was for the people who were in need of forgiveness. The claim augmented the Christian teaching of love and forgiveness. God loves everyone despite their shortcomings and gives them an opportunity to repent, leave their sinful lives, and come back to His ways. On the other hand, the claim expressed the universal nature of the ministry because Jesus did not discriminate or choose who to visit or interact with.
This shows that the kingdom of God is open to any individual who is ready and willing to change their life by repenting and surrendering to the will of God. There was a belief that Jesus had come to save the people of Israel and deliver them from political bondage and oppression. However, that belief was wrong, as evident from the ministry of Christ. Jesus was not a political ruler but a spiritual ruler who came to salvage the souls of sinners from the bondage of sin.
When Jesus posed the question “but who do you say that I am” to his disciples, He received varying answers regarding their understanding of who He was. Many of them did not know that he was the predicted Messiah. My beliefs about Jesus are based on my Christian faith and the experience gained from practicing it.
I believe that Jesus was the son of God, who died for the sins of the human race. It is impossible for human beings to save themselves through their own efforts. Every person is a sinner and needs God’s mercy and forgiveness (Bloesch, 2005). Jesus was the only way through which God could show people His mercy and goodness. I also believe that Jesus was God. Many people doubted His divinity and only believed after seeing Him perform miracles.
Jesus was the greatest teacher and person ever to live. His wisdom was evident through His teachings that aimed to show people how to enter the kingdom of heaven. His miracles and profound teachings on love and forgiveness are key Christian precepts that are practiced by Christians around the world. He was the greatest person who ever lived because of His influence on the lives of people who practice Christianity.
His ministry was an expression of core Christian tenets that include love, sacrifice, forgiveness, generosity, and peace (Placher, 2001). Finally, I believe that Jesus is the only way through which a Christian can attain salvation. The way to attain salvation is for an individual to receive God’s grace through believing in the death and resurrection of Christ.
This is important because, through death on the cross, Jesus redeemed us from the bondage of sin and earned for us God’s forgiveness. It is impossible for a human being to achieve salvation through their own efforts because they need the grace and mercy of God that can only be accessed through Jesus Christ (Placher, 2001). Salvation involves the rejection of sin, acceptance of Jesus as the savior, repentance, and total surrender to the will of God.
Bible Gateway: Treasures in Heaven. Web.
Bible Gateway: The Calling of Matthew. Web.
Bloesch, D. G. (2005). Jesus Christ: Savior & Lord. Chicago, Illinois: intervarsity Press.
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Placher, W. C. (2001). Jesus the Savior: The Meaning of Jesus Christ for Christian Faith. New York, NY: Westminster John Knox Press.