#DailyDevotion Who Do You Love?
Luke 1613“No servant can be the slave of two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he’ll be loyal to the one and despise the other. You can’t serve God and money [mammon].” 14The money-loving Pharisees heard all this and turned up their noses at Him. 15Then He said to them, “You try to make people think you’re good, but God knows your hearts. What people consider great is detested by God.
Picking up on the theme of masters from the parable of the unjust steward, Jesus reminds us that we cannot be the slave of two masters. You’ll either hate one and love the other or be loyal to one and despise the other. Of course we as Americans don’t think we have any masters. Then if we think about our relationship to our teachers as youth or our bosses as adults we are quickly reminded we are not as free as we think.
But Jesus takes to a place we don’t want to go. There are two masters we’d rather not think of as our masters. One is God and the other is wealth (which we think of in terms of money but it’s the whole shebang of stuff). You will serve one of these two. We don’t like thinking of God as master because we just want to be buddies with him. But God is not our buddy, he is our Creator, Lord and Master (at least he is supposed to be). We don’t think of money or wealth being our master because we can’t stand the idea of having some inanimate object driving our every thought and action. Yet both of these demand our love and loyalty. We will do everything in our being to have one or the other. One of these will motivate everything we do and think during the day. One of these two you trust to provide you with every good.
Luther in the Large Catechism on the first commandment writes, “Therefore it is the intent of this commandment to require true faith and trust of the heart which settles upon the only true God, and clings to Him alone. That is as much as to say: “See to it that you let Me alone be your God, and never seek another,” i.e.: Whatever you lack of good things, expect it of Me, and look to Me for it, and whenever you suffer misfortune and distress, creep and cling to Me. I, yes, I, will give you enough and help you out of every need; only let not your heart cleave to or rest in any other.” So who are what are you looking to for every good thing?
The Pharisees thought they worshiped God. They did not think they were idolaters. Yet Jesus read their hearts and told them this parable and other teachings. They scoffed at him. Jesus rebukes them. They wanted people to think they were good, but they loved money. They trusted their gain of money was a sure measurement of God’s approval. However they trusted their wealth more than God. Luther also writes about this in the Large Catechism under the first commandment, “Many a one thinks that he has God and everything in abundance when he has money and, possessions; he trusts in them and boasts of them with such firmness and assurance as to care for no one. 6] Lo, such a man also has a god, Mammon by name, i.e., money and possessions, on which he sets all his heart, and which is also the most common idol on earth. 7] He who has money and possessions feels secure, and is joyful and undismayed as though he were sitting in the midst of Paradise. 8] On the other hand, he who has none doubts and is despondent, as though he knew of no God. 9] For very few are to be found who are of good cheer, and who neither mourn nor complain if they have not Mammon. This [care and desire for money] sticks and clings to our nature, even to the grave.”
So who will you love and cling to today? God who sacrificed his son Jesus Christ so you may enter eternal life or Wealth(Mammon) who says you must sacrifice everything to him to enjoy this life? Choose God.
Most merciful and kind God and Father, you loved us more than you loved yourself by sending your son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Grant us such faith in you that to you alone will be cling to, serve, love and seek every good from. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.