Matthew 6:19–24: Eyes on the Master
As Jesus continues to teach through the Sermon on the Mount, he turns from false piety to address the factors that corrupt and undermine our holiness. Specifically, Jesus warns us about the treasures of our hearts, and the fixations of our eyes. We often act as though we are free and fully in charge of ourselves, so that what we look at and what we love are fully under our control. What Jesus warns us, though, is that where we direct our attention subtly enslaves us in ways that we do not realize. One way or another, our eyes shape our hearts to serve a master.
1. What does it mean to “treasure earthly treasures” (v. 19)? Why do our hearts gravitate so easily toward treasures on earth? What earthly treasures tend to ensnare your own heart? How might corruptibility (destroyed by moth or rust) and instability (stolen by thieves) affect the earthly treasures that you most prize? What, on the other hand, are heavenly treasures? How can you cultivate a love for heavenly treasures?
2. What does it mean for your eyes to be the “lamp” of your body (v. 22)? What does it mean for your body to be filled with light? What would it mean for your eye to be filled with darkness (v. 23)? What is the connection between our hearts (vv. 19–21) and our eyes (vv. 22–23)? How do our eyes shape, train, and teach our hearts? What does this tell us about the power of our sideways glances in the course of our lives?
3. How do our eyes and our hearts relate to the master whom we serve? Which two masters does Jesus name in v. 24? Why is impossible to serve both of these masters? How much influence does money have over your heart? How are you tempted to seek after material possessions? If you are honest with yourself, how do these material possessions draw you away from wholehearted service to your Master, Jesus Christ?
4. Why must we not only “stop treasuring” earthly treasures, but also “start treasuring” heavenly treasures (v. 20)? Why must we cultivate valuable spiritual practices to replace harmful practices? According to the logic of this passage, how do we train our hearts to serve our Master, Jesus Christ? Where do we see him now (2 Cor. 3:18–4:6; Gal. 3:1)? What plan do you have for regularly gazing upon the beauty of Jesus Christ?