Serving Two Masters: Matthew 6:24
““24) No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭24‬ ‭ESV‬‬
Jesus now addresses the dangers of money. It can displace God. It can become the true god that you worship and serve. Jesus warned that you cannot serve two masters. One will obscure the other. Chasing after money will take control of your time, energy, emotions and attention. It can twist your morals, dampen your heavenly perspective and deaden your soul.
Paul warned young Timothy of the same danger. He drove home the point that “godliness with contentment is great gain.” He then observed that we came into this world with nothing and we depart with nothing. Food and covering accompanied with the abiding glory and presence of God is more than enough for contentment. (1 Timothy 6:6-8) Not one person will tow a U-Haul behind them when they depart this life.
Paul then added this warning; “9) But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10) For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” 1 Timothy‬ ‭6‬:‭9‬-‭10‬ ‭ESV‬‬
I believe Paul was speaking from personal experience. Prior to meeting Jesus, he had chased after wealth, fame and power. It left him empty and deceived. It was like a cancer in his soul.
Philippians 3:7-11 tells the story of the surpassing value he found in a personal relationship with Christ Jesus. He found true wealth and considered all else as sewage by comparison. He was willing to work side jobs and live modestly when needed. He also knew how to live in prosperity at times. But his meaning and value came from his deep personal relationship with Jesus. (See Philippians 4:11-13).
Wealth, fame and power never became his God. Jesus ruled as Sovereign Lord in His heart. Paradoxically, his legacy even to this day is overflowing with all three. Apart from Jesus Christ Himself, the Apostle Paul might be the most influential figure in Christianity. He did not seek it! His single focus was seeking and serving Jesus Christ. He had only one Master.
You need to settle this issue in your life. To the degree that you are consumed by wealth, fame and power you are impoverished in your relationship with God. Like the Christians in Laodicea, you might say, “”I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.” (Revelation 3:17) Your current dual loyalty may condemn you to be lukewarm in your walk with God. Are you spiritually bi-polar? Are you trying to serve two masters?
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global