An International Center for Fellowship and Learning

The Sermon on the Mount Pt. 2 – Lesson 8: Serving Two Masters

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” —Matthew 6:24

Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:24-34

Introduction:

Of all the physical necessities in life, food water and clothing are the most essential. Without the three of these, our life wouldn’t last more than a few days; without any one of them, our life probably wouldn’t last more than a few weeks. The life-sustaining qualities of each are obvious.

Knowing food, water, and clothing are more important than any other physical, mental, or emotional need, Jesus makes an astonishing statement: “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on…” (Matthew 6:25). Didn’t He know how important food was? Did His heavenly vision blind Him to the obvious fact that human beings need water? How could anyone endure the winter without clothing?

Christ was aware of their importance but commanded us not to worry about them. “Take no thought,” He said. Translated into modern English, this means don’t worry; don’t get anxious; don’t consume your day with negative thoughts about what might happen. Instead, our focus was to be solely on the Kingdom of God. “Seek ye first…” said Christ (Matthew 6:33). His Kingdom is to be our primary goal, the front-runner of our priorities, number one on our list of things to do. The interesting aspect of our call to seek God’s Kingdom first is that food, water, and clothing will be provided by God. In other words, if we’re seeking the things of this earth, then it’s possible we’ll live without them; if we’re seeking the things of God, then we’ll always have our needs met.

This verse passage begins with Matthew 6:24: “No man can serve two masters…” Either we’re serving God with our whole heart or we’re serving ourselves. Christ knew if our concern was for the temporal, we’d serve ourselves but if our concern was for the eternal, we’d serve Him.

Lesson Questions:

  1. In Matthew 6:24, Christ says it’s impossible to serve two masters. What type of service does God call us to when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior? 1 Samuel 7:3; 2 Chronicles 15:14-15; Matthew 4:10; 12:25-30. What kind of earthly masters can we get caught up serving?
    Note: “Double-mindedness is an attempt to sit on the fence in relation to spiritual matters. There is no halfhearted service for God. It is either all or nothing. Jesus gives the believer no option between loving God and loving the world.” —Liberty Bible Commentary, Jerry Falwell
  2. Was Jesus condemning material possessions, or improper priorities? Genesis 13:2; Matthew 27:57; Luke 16:1-9.
  3. How concerned should we be about food, clothing, shelter, or other material possessions? Matthew 6:26-31; Luke 10:38-42; Psalm 127:2; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:5. Could God let us go without food and still be our perfect Provider?
  4. Is there anything productive we can do by worrying about our circumstances? Matthew 6:27; 5:36; Psalm 90:10; Ecclesiastes 8:8; Lamentations 3:7.
    Note: The word “stature” in Matthew 6:27 is translated from the Greek word helikia, which can be rendered “age” instead of “height.”
  5. Why is it important that we seek God’s Kingdom above everything else? Matthew 6:33; 13:22; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Luke 9:23-26; Numbers 3:13; Deuteronomy 26:2.
  6. How can we overcome the desire to worry about tomorrow and yesterday? Philippians 4:8-9; Colossians 3:10; Titus 3:5; Isaiah 40:31; 2 Corinthians 4:16; 10:3-6.

Life Application:

This week, memorize Matthew 6:33-34 and meditate upon its truths in spare moments. Commit your worry over debts, finances, savings, etc., to the Lord by replacing worry with prayer and meditation.