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Trinity 15 Notes – Matthew 6:24-34

by pastorjuhl ~ September 16th, 2009

Church Fathers
No man can serve two masters. To clarify this statement our blessed Lord continued: For he will detest the first and resent the second. The words must be applied correctly. Who the two masters are Jesus immediately indicated: You cannot serve God and mammon. The Phoenicians used practically the same idiom, since in their language mammon is equivalent to net profit. Now if one serves mammon, he actually worships as his god the one placed over earthly things because of his perversity, the one whom our LORD called the prince of this world. Now man has no alternative but to hate that one and love the other, namely, God; or he will bear with the one and resent the Other’s wishes. He who works for mammon must suffer under a cruel and killing master; enchained by his own lusts, he subjects himself to the devil, whom he cannot love. For how could anyone love the devil? Still there are those who serve him (Augustine).

For God made all living things for man; but man for himself. The more precious man is as a creature, the more God will care for him. If then the birds shall find their food without toil, shall man not find it, to whom God  has given both the knowledge to labor, and the expectation of making it fruitful (Augustine)?

Wealth injures us not only because it arms robbers against us, and because it darkens the mind, but also because it drives us away from God’s service (Chrysostom).

[Jesus] does not say; God knoweth, but: “Your Father knoweth”, to lead them to greater confidence. For if He is our Father, it cannot be that He will abandon His children, since not even human fathers could bear to do this. For what kind of Father is He who will not give His children even what is necessary? But for superfluous things, it is not reasonable to have the same assurance (Chrysostom).

If the birds, without thought or care, and which today are, and tomorrow are not, are fed by God’s providence, how much more will He not feed men, to whom He has promised eternity (Jerome)?

Blessed Martin Luther
It is impossible to remain His servant as He establishes if you also want to covet money. So God’s service is that one cling only to His Word and establish everything by that.

Whoever bears His Office for the sake of money or food, honor or favor as he might wish to, God will not acknowledge him as His servant, but as His enemy.

The tenor of the entire sermon is that we are to dismiss such fretting. Not only is such anxiety needless and useless; it is an obstacle to true worship of God. For this reason we are to guard against it and train ourselves to serve God and wait for His provision. He knows what we need and earnestly desires to give us what we need. All we have to do is ask him.

The kingdom of God, therefore, is nothing else but hearing and believing God’s Word. God rules within us when we do not despair of him, but trust Him wholeheartedly and esteem His as our God and Father. Where such faith exists, there God dwells, and righteousness immediately follows, that is, forgiveness of sins.

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