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Jesus’ Ministry

The Sermon on the Mount

Storing Treasures in
Heaven
November 14, 2004

DEVOTIONAL READING: Philippians 4:4–9 (KJV).


BACKGROUND SCRIPTURE: Matthew 6 (KJV).
PRINTED TEXT: Matthew 6:19–34 (KJV).
GOLDEN TEXT: Matthew 6:33 (KJV), 34 (KJV).

Daily Bible Readings


Monday, Nov. 12—Treasure of a Good Foundation (1 Timothy 6:11–17)
Tuesday, Nov. 13—Gold and Silver Don’t Last (James 5:1–6)
Wednesday, Nov. 14—Be Patient (James 5:7–12)
Thursday, Nov. 15—Full Barns, Empty Soul (Luke 12:13–21)
Friday, Nov. 16—Life Is More Than Food (Luke 12:22–28)
Saturday, Nov. 17—Strive for the Kingdom (Luke 12:29–34)
Sunday, Nov. 18—“Where Your Treasure Is … ” (Matthew 6:19–21, 25–34)

Use this to encourage your students to put the Lord’s kingdom


first on their priority list.

Lesson Aims
After this lesson students should be able to:
1. Tell what Jesus said in this portion of the Sermon on the Mount about our treasures
and our priorities.
2. Contrast Jesus’ teaching about these matters with the world’s perspective on
material wealth.
3. Pinpoint an area of their lives where trust in God needs to replace worry, and
commit that area to Him.

Why Teach This Lesson?


Are you living in a “transition home”? It’s not the house you really want to live in for
the rest of your life, it’s just what you’re settling for right now until you are finally able to
afford what you really want.
We see this attitude all around us today, not only as it concerns the homes we live in,
but also with regard to the cars we drive, the furnishings we surround ourselves with, and
the vacations we take. Those who “don’t have” want to “have,” while those who “have”
want to “have more.” Rich Mullins’s song “My One Thing” describes the condition well:
“Everybody I know says they need just one thing. And what they really mean is they need
just one thing more.” If you are living in a transition home or driving a transition car—if
you “need just one thing more”—Jesus has something important to say to you today!

Introduction
One of the most memorable events of my childhood was our rural community’s bank
failure. In the language of the townspeople, the bank “went broke.” Most of the farmers
had recently deposited their returns from the wheat and barley harvests, and now they
couldn’t get a cent of their money. They had to survive the rest of the summer on the
produce of their own farms. They all had chickens for eggs and cows for milk, and most
had some fruits and vegetables as well.
Ultimately the farmers were able to get back most of what they had deposited in the
bank. Until then there was considerable discussion of what to do with one’s money if and
when it became available. Put it in the other bank? That one might go broke, too. Keep it
at home? You couldn’t sit there all day with a shotgun to guard it. Some of the farmers
devised hiding places under floors or in walls where thieves would never find their
savings. But what if the house burned down?

A. Many Money Problems


Money problems have been around as long as money has. If you have no money, your
problem is how to get some. If you have more than you can use immediately, your
problem is how to keep it safe. A servant in one of Jesus’ parables buried his money in the
ground, but his master called him wicked and lazy [“slothful”] (Matthew 25:25, 26).
Other servants put their money to work and managed to double it. That was great, but the
prospect of such a return must have involved a certain amount of risk. Today’s investment
counselors all warn us that there is no investment without risk, and that a big return
requires a big risk.
This week’s lesson brings us an exception to that rule. Just invest your treasures in
Heaven. There is no risk involved, and the return is far greater than you can ever imagine.

B. Lesson Background
Today’s study is the third of four lessons drawn from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
Jesus was teaching His disciples on a hill in Galilee, and a large crowd was listening
(Matthew 5:1, 2).

I. Choose the Best (Matthew 6:19–24)


Jesus’ disciples must have been aware of the financial risk involved in choosing to
follow Him. We are told that some of them left their jobs to become disciples of someone
who had no place to lay His head (Matthew 8:20). We are also told of certain individuals
who “ministered unto him of their substance” (Luke 8:1–3, KJV) or “were helping to
support them out of their own means” (NIV). Apparently they provided material
assistance to Jesus and the Twelve.
In the portion of the Sermon on the Mount studied today, Jesus confirms that those
who have chosen to follow Him have made the best choice.

A. The Best Treasure (vv. 19–21)


19. LINK TO MATTHEW 6:19. → KJV;
Jesus’ words are not a prohibition against one’s efforts to provide the necessities of
life for himself or his loved ones. Such work is commended in Scripture (2 Thessalonians
3:12). Jesus is warning us not to consider material wealth (the things of this earth) our
treasures. Material wealth is subject to decay and corrosion. And (like the farmers who
were mentioned in the Introduction to this lesson) anyone with material wealth must
guard against thieves who are more than eager for him to “share” his wealth. It was not
very hard to break through the walls of most houses in Jesus’ day, which were made of
mud bricks. [See question #1.]
20. LINK TO MATTHEW 6:20. → KJV;
It is hard to argue with the fact that treasures in Heaven are eternally secure, but how
can you store up your treasures there? One way is to help Jesus’ brothers who are in need,
thereby identifying with Jesus Himself (Matthew 25:31–40). With that thought in mind,
you can probably think of specific treasures that are suited to your particular
circumstances.
For example, the money you send to a missionary who is holding forth the Word of
life on the other side of the world or is planting a new church on the other side of your
hometown—don’t you know it is credited to your account beyond the skies? The
sacrificial gift you give to a college that is preparing preachers of the gospel—aren’t you
certain that it has been deposited in your Heavenly treasure with interest beyond your
imagining? And don’t think that your treasure is all in money. Each precious hour you
spend in unpaid Christian service will be waiting with interest when you “inherit the
kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).
There are so many ways to lay up treasures in Heaven! So choose the way that is best
for you and most suited to your abilities and opportunities. Just be sure that you don’t
leave all your treasures on earth and end up a pauper where Heavenly treasures are
concerned.
21. LINK TO MATTHEW 6:21. → KJV;
Often we notice that one’s treasure follows his heart. For instance, if you visit an
orphans’ home and really fall in love with it, some of your money will go there. But Jesus
reminds us of the other side of the picture. One’s heart follows his treasure. If you really
aren’t interested at all in what your church’s favorite missionary is doing, try doubling
your contribution to that mission. Of course, you won’t want your money to be wasted, so
you will learn all you can about the work of the mission—and you will soon find that
your heart is in that mission. Perhaps you will then double your contribution again. Or, if
you have not been very interested in the local work of your church, try putting twice as
much time into it. You’ll be surprised to see how dear to your heart that work becomes.
[See question #2.]

B. The Best Light (vv. 22, 23)


22. LINK TO MATTHEW 6:22. → KJV;
It is through our eyes that we become conscious of light, and with light comes a vast
amount of information, understanding, and guidance. It is with our eyes that we find our
way. Thus does Paul pray for the enlightenment of “the eyes of your understanding [or
heart]” (Ephesians 1:18) to express his desire that the Ephesian Christians grow in their
knowledge of the Lord.
If your eyes (your attention and thinking) are focused only on treasure in Heaven and
what produces it, then your whole body will be full of light: you will be thoroughly
enlightened with truth and goodness. Your motives, your thinking, your talking, and your
doing will be guided in ways pleasing to the Lord. You will be laying up treasure in
Heaven.
23. LINK TO MATTHEW 6:23. → KJV;
On the other hand, if your attention and thinking are focused on earthly treasure
without any regard for what God says is right and wrong, then you shut out the light of
truth and goodness. Instead you become filled with the darkness of selfishness and greed.
The eye is the only way you have of receiving light. If it brings you darkness instead,
how great is that darkness!

C. The Best Master (v. 24)


24. LINK TO MATTHEW 6:24. → KJV;
It is true that a man can have two jobs with two different employers—especially if
they are part-time jobs. But he cannot serve both employers with equal devotion. If both
want his service at the same time, he has to make a choice. One job will be his principal
one; the other will receive whatever leftover time is available.
Mammon is a word that is used in the King James Version to describe treasure on
earth—money and all that money can buy. (The New International Version simply uses
the term Money, but we should see it as broader than mere money.) And it is true that
most of us who serve God work for money as well. But serving God is a full-time job.
Even when we are working at the job that provides our living, God’s directions are to
guide every area of life. If Mammon wants us to do something contrary to God’s
teaching, we have to make a choice. It is better to serve God and starve than to serve
Mammon and disobey God. [See question #3.]

II. Trust the Best (Matthew 6:25–30)


When we choose the best Master, God, that choice relieves us of the responsibility of
making some other choices that might be difficult. When God tells us plainly to do
something, we do it and trust Him for the outcome. When He tells us not to do
something, we refuse to do it, no matter how enticing mammon makes it seem. Either
way, we trust God, and we don’t worry.

A. Do Not Worry (v. 25)


25. LINK TO MATTHEW 6:25. → KJV;
The phrase take no thought for your life in the King James Bible does not mean that
we should do no planning for tomorrow’s meals or fail to go to the grocery store for
supplies. It simply means, as we read in the New International Version, “do not worry.”
God, the Master you have chosen, has given you your life. That is a greater gift than
the food you eat. Don’t you know that He who gives the greater gift will also give the
lesser one? You know God has given you your body, and it is of far greater significance
and value than the raiment (clothes) you wear. Don’t you know that He who gives the
body will also supply the clothing for the body? So trust God and don’t worry.
This does not mean that you need not work for pay, shop for food, or cook your
dinner. It means you work, shop, and cook without being anxious, without worrying.
The point here is not to be overly concerned about physical necessities; excessive
fretting about such things would reveal that our treasure is in the wrong place, our eyes
are focused on the wrong things, and that we serve the wrong master. “Do not worry,” is
not, of course, an excuse for laziness (2 Thessalonians 3:10).

B. Consider the Birds (v. 26)


26. LINK TO MATTHEW 6:26. → KJV;
Perhaps some birds (“fowls” in the King James Version) could be seen near the
hillside where Jesus and His audience were. These birds are not idle, but neither are they
anxious about their daily food. They do the work they are created to do, and the heavenly
Father provides for them. Any human being is worth much more than many such birds.
How can anyone doubt that God will feed him if he does the work the Creator has
designed him to do?

C. Worry Is Worthless (v. 27)


27. LINK TO MATTHEW 6:27. → KJV;
The basic meaning of the word translated “stature” in the King James Version here is
“age” or “time of life.” Thus, some translators think that this question refers to the length
of a man’s life instead of his height. The New International Version says, “Who of you by
worrying can add a single hour to his life?” This word does sometimes refer to stature,
however, both in secular Greek and elsewhere in the New Testament. And the word cubit
is clearly a measure of distance or height, equal to about half a meter, or eighteen inches.
The American Standard Version keeps some of the ambiguity of the original: “Which of
you by being anxious can add one cubit unto the measure of his life?”
However we translate it, the question has the same answer. In fact, the dual
understanding may be deliberate, for both illustrate the point Jesus is making: worry is
worthless. It can neither make a man taller nor make him live longer; in fact, worry can
cause stress and ulcers. Rather than adding hours to life, worry can result in quite the
opposite! So why worry?

D. Consider the Flowers (vv. 28–30)


28. LINK TO MATTHEW 6:28. → KJV;
In today’s English we might paraphrase Jesus’ words this way: “Why worry about
clothing? Look at the wildflowers that bloom every spring. They do not labor long hours,
as people do, to spin wool into yarn, weave yarn into fabric, and sew fabric into
garments.”
29. LINK TO MATTHEW 6:29. → KJV;
Solomon was king of Israel at the peak of that nation’s power and glory. Surely he
wore the very best clothing that could be made at that time. Yet even he was not arrayed
(or dressed) as beautifully as one of those common wildflowers on the hillside.
30. LINK TO MATTHEW 6:30. → KJV;
Don’t you know that you are worth more than the wildflowers? They may be prettier
than you are, but not for long. Quickly they wither, and soon they and other sun-dried
plants are raked up and used as fuel to bake the bread in someone’s backyard oven. You
can see how God clothes them beautifully in spite of their short life; don’t you know He
will clothe you adequately if you faithfully do the work He designed you to do? How can
you be so lacking in faith and trust that you worry about where your next set of clothes
will come from? [See question #4.]

III. Summary (Matthew 6:31–34)


Many people have been amused by the way one preacher described his method of
constructing a sermon: “First I tell them what I’m going to tell them. Then I tell them.
Then I tell them what I’ve told them.”
Jesus did not exactly follow that procedure in the text we have before us, but He did
make two points emphatic by repeating them: “Trust God” and “Don’t worry.”

A. Trust God (vv. 31, 32)


31. LINK TO MATTHEW 6:31. → KJV;
As already noted, the phrase “take no thought” (KJV) is better expressed by “don’t
worry” or “don’t be anxious.” Jesus’ counsel not to worry is especially appropriate today
when so many worry about what to eat and drink and what to wear.
32. LINK TO MATTHEW 6:32. → KJV;
The word Gentiles refers to pagan peoples, idol worshipers. When they run after all
these things, they demonstrate that they know nothing of a heavenly Father who rules the
universe and who cares for His people. They become desperate and stingy when they are
hungry or when they experience hard times. Children of God, on the other hand, do know
their Father—or they ought to. They know that He lives, He rules, He knows, and He
cares.

B. Put God First (v. 33)


33. LINK TO MATTHEW 6:33. → KJV;
To seek first God’s kingdom is to seek above everything else to be ruled by Him. It
means desiring to know His will and do it. When you live by God’s priorities, you can be
assured that He will not leave you without the food and clothing about which so many
fret and worry. [See question #5.]

FORSAKING ALL FOR THE KINGDOM


H. L. Mencken called it “the greatest news story since the Resurrection.” He
was talking about King Edward VIII’s abdication (resignation) of the British
throne. Edward announced that he was stepping down for the sake of “the woman
he loved.” The woman was Wallis Simpson, a commoner and an American, once
divorced and involved in an affair with the king (although still married to her
second husband). Her divorce was a major problem, since in those days it was
thought scandalous for the head of the Church of England (the king) to marry
such a woman. British papers kept the matter quiet as long as they could.
Edward’s abdication avoided what could have been a major constitutional
crisis in England. But he was willing to lose his claim to a kingdom for the sake
of “the woman he loved.”
In contrast, Jesus calls us to seek first the kingdom of God. He challenges us
to give up all other allegiances for the sake of “the God we love.” While this
appears to be a foolish risk in the eyes of many, we who know and serve our
Heavenly Father realize that we are always in His care. The real risk—one with
eternal consequences—is taken by the individual who tries to live as if he himself
were king. —C. R. B.

C. Don’t Worry (v. 34)


34. LINK TO MATTHEW 6:34. → KJV; → NIV
Three times in our text we have seen an admonition against worry. Like every good
teacher, Jesus knew the value of repeating. He capped this section of His teaching by
saying once again, “Don’t worry.” Don’t spoil today by worrying about the morrow.
Tomorrow will bring its own problems. Spend today dealing with today’s problems, not
worrying about what has not yet happened. Live one day at a time—and live it
acknowledging God as the Giver of that day and of all that He allows you to enjoy that
day.

BORROWING FROM TOMORROW’S TROUBLES


There was once a time when business executives could leave all their cares at
the office. But now, thanks to all of our “labor-saving” devices, it is getting harder
and harder to do that. Cell phones, laptop computers, and e-mail make it
increasingly difficult to “disconnect.”
A recent survey of five thousand executives revealed that 82 percent of them
worked during their vacations. More than a fourth of them called the office on
their days off, and 13 percent checked their e-mail when away from work. Cutting
a vacation short because of work was admitted to by 13 percent of the executives.
“If you don’t stay in touch,” the surveyers concluded, “you’ll fall behind.”
Of course, people in many occupations seldom have “days off.” Farmers
whose livestock need daily feeding and/or milking and stay-at-home mothers of
small children are two groups of people who would love to get a day off, even if
they had to “stay in touch.”
Whatever our occupation, excessive involvement in our work can lead to
mental burnout, poor health, disrupted family life, and decreased involvement in
spirit-nurturing activities such as church attendance. Trying to get ahead of
tomorrow’s troubles can actually increase the trials tomorrow may bring. Our
experience should tell us that Jesus was right when He said, “Take no thought for
the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.” —C.
R. B.

Conclusion
A. When to “Take Some Thought”
We have noted that “take no thought” in the King James Version means “don’t
worry.” It would be easy (but wrong) to interpret either phrase to mean that we are to be
totally oblivious to all that is around us. Sometimes without thinking we slip into the
mistake of worrying about material concerns such as food and clothing and other
treasures on earth.
We ought not to worry about treasure in Heaven either, but we ought to “take some
thought,” as the word thought is more commonly used. Even the King James Version uses
the word think in the way we usually do today. It urges us to do some thinking about
matters that are quite in harmony with laying up treasures in Heaven. Here are a few
examples.
Think about good things. Fill your mind with them (Philippians 4:8). Shut out evil
thoughts (1 Corinthians 13:4, 5).
Think about Jesus. Think of what a glorious Savior He is (Hebrews 3:1–3). Think
how much He endured for you (Hebrews 12:3, 4).
Think about yourself. Don’t be conceited, but make a fair estimate (Romans 12:3).
Watch yourself lest you be tempted (Galatians 6:1).
Think about your fellow Christians. Consider ways to stir them up to love one another
and to do good (Hebrews 10:24).
Think about your Christian leaders. Think about the outcome of their way of life, and
imitate their faith (Hebrews 13:7).

B. Make Up Your Mind


Worry flourishes in a divided mind. Perhaps you have chosen the best Master and the
best treasure; yet there is something you really need, like a new car or an extended
vacation or an addition to the house. So just this once you decide to take orders from
Mammon. You overcharge a customer, or misrepresent your merchandise, or cheat on
your income tax. It’s just this once, but next year you may “really need” something else,
and that will be “just this once,” too. Soon Mammon has you in its grip, and your worries
begin to increase.
So make up your mind. Give first place to God’s kingdom and His righteousness.
Refuse to do anything dishonest, mean, or greedy—no matter what Mammon offers.
Make the old car last another year, or maybe two or three. Go camping in the nearest state
park instead of taking a cruise. Put a cheaper partition in that basement bedroom instead
of building an addition to the house. See if a cheaper detergent will work as well as the
highly advertised one. God will bless your full allegiance, and you will stop lying awake
at night with worry.
Make up your mind. God is your Master; seek to please Him day by day. Treasure in
Heaven is your objective; store it up hour by hour. God’s peace is a by-product of your
commitment; enjoy it moment by moment (Philippians 4:7).

C. Prayer
Dear Father, gracious Father, loving Father, we do want to please You in all our
thinking and talking and doing. Help us, we pray, in our efforts to do so. In Jesus’ name,
amen.

D. Thought to Remember
My mind is made up.

Learning Activities for Users of the King


James Version
This article contains an alternate lesson plan emphasizing learning activities.
Classes desiring such student involvement will find these suggestions helpful.

LEARNING GOALS
After this lesson students will be able to:
1. Tell what Jesus said in this portion of the Sermon on the Mount about our treasures
and our priorities.
2. Contrast Jesus’ teaching about these matters with the world’s perspective on
material wealth.
3. Pinpoint an area of their lives where trust in God needs to replace worry, and
commit that area to Him.

INTO THE LESSON


Begin by asking the class to move into groups of three. Give each group paper and
pencils. Say: “This morning I’m going to ask you a question, and I’d like you to generate
a list of answers. You will have about three minutes. Here is the question: ‘What do
people use to keep their valuables and possessions safe and secure?’” (Possible answers:
locks, security systems, alarms, computer passwords, safety deposit boxes, and safes.)
After sufficient time has been given, ask the group with the most answers to read them.
Then ask if the other groups have additional answers. State: “People use many different
ways to protect their valuables and possessions. Yet, security of our valuables is never
guaranteed. Even very complex security systems have not always prevented the theft of
valuable merchandise.”
Observe that today’s lesson focuses on Jesus’ words about treasures and priorities.
Then ask the learners to turn to Matthew 6:19–34.

INTO THE WORD


Ask a class member to read Matthew 6:19–23 aloud to the class. Then ask these
questions:
1. What happens to treasures stored on the earth? (Moths eat the fabric; rust destroys
metal; and thieves steal the treasures, v. 19.)
2. What is the connection between a person’s treasure and a person’s heart? (Your
heart follows, or is directed toward, what you value, v. 21.) State: “Jesus stated that
treasures stored in Heaven are secure: they will not be eaten, will not rust, and will not be
stolen by thieves.”
3. What does Jesus mean by “laying up treasures in Heaven”? (He is talking about
what we value, about our priorities. Jesus illustrates this in verses 22 and 23. If we are
focused upon the light of truth and that is what we value, then our whole body will be
characterized by that light of truth.)
Ask another class member to read aloud Matthew 6:24–34. Then ask these questions:
4. What contrast does Jesus make in this passage of Scripture? (Between two life
ambitions: secular and godly. The secular focus is on accumulating possessions, gaining
more and more wealth. The godly focus is on serving God, seeking His kingdom, and
trusting Him to provide the basics of food and clothing.)
5. What is the point of Jesus’ illustrations about birds (v. 26) and flowers (v. 28)?
(God will provide our needs, so we have no cause for worry.)
6. What does Jesus say should be the first priority of every person? (Seeking the
kingdom of God and His righteousness, v. 33.)

INTO LIFE
Jesus addresses a common characteristic of people: worry. Prior to class, prepare a
handout and an overhead transparency entitled, “The World of Worry.” Have two
columns on this handout, one column for “Non-Christians” and the other for “Christians.”
Ask the class to move back into the groups of three, and give this assignment: “In each of
your groups, have someone write down for the respective headings the worries that
concern the non-Christian and the areas of life that concern the Christian.”
Give several minutes for the groups to generate answers. Then ask for the answers to
be reported to the class. As answers are given, write them on an overhead transparency so
the class can see the answers. (Possible answers: money, clothes, paying bills,
possessions, safety, personal appearance, health, travel safety, and broken relationships.)
Say: “As you can see, Christians and non-Christians often worry about many of the same
things. But what does Jesus teach about worry?” (Worry does not change anything, v. 27;
worry indicates little faith, v. 30; worry is unnecessary, v. 32.) Summarize: “If worry is
something that Jesus does not want us to do, what does He teach we should do? We must
seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and trust Him to provide those
things that we need.”
Note that some of us worry about many of these same items in our own lives. Tell the
students, “Select one item wherein trust in God needs to replace worry. After you select
it, write a prayer to God committing yourself to trust Him to take care of you.”

The World of Worry


First, identify the subjects of worry that plague people today. Then place a check
mark () in the non-Christians’ column if this item is something non-Christians worry
about. Place a check mark () in the Christians’ column if they also worry about that
element of life.

SUBJECTS OF WORRY
NON-CHRISTIANS
CHRISTIANS
What differences do you see? What differences should you see?

Prayer of Release and Commitment


Dear Father,
I am spending too much time worrying about
___________________________________. Today’s lesson helps me to see how
important I am to you. You already know what I need, and you want me to seek your
kingdom and your righteousness first. You want me to trust you in this element of life.
So, Father, I release this worry to you. Help me trust you to provide what I need. And I
will give you all the glory.
In Jesus’ name I pray,
___________________________
(Sign your name here)
Date __________________________
Jesus’ Ministry
The Sermon on the Mount
Storing Treasures in Heaven
November 14, 2004
A. Many Money Problems

I. Choose the Best (Matthew 6:19–24)


A. The Best Treasure (vv. 19–21)
B. Consider the Birds (v. 26)
C. Worry Is Worthless (v. 27)

Conclusion
A. When to “Take Some Thought”
Think about good things. Fill your mind with them (Philippians 4:8). Shut out evil
thoughts (1 Corinthians 13:4, 5).
Think about Jesus. Think of what a glorious Savior He is (Hebrews 3:1–3). Think
how much He endured for you (Hebrews 12:3, 4).
Think about yourself. Don’t be conceited, but make a fair estimate (Romans 12:3).
Watch yourself lest you be tempted (Galatians 6:1).
Think about your fellow Christians. Consider ways to stir them up to love one another
and to do good (Hebrews 10:24).
Think about your Christian leaders. Think about the outcome of their way of life, and
imitate their faith (Hebrews 13:7).
B. Make Up Your Mind
C. Prayer
D. Thought to Remember

INTO THE WORD


Read Matthew 6:19–23 1. What happens to treasures stored on the earth? (Moths eat the fabric; rust
destroys metal; and thieves steal the treasures, v. 19.)
2. What is the connection between a person’s treasure and a person’s heart? (Your heart follows, or is
directed toward, what you value, v. 21.) State: “Jesus stated that treasures stored in Heaven are secure: they
will not be eaten, will not rust, and will not be stolen by thieves.”
3. What does Jesus mean by “laying up treasures in Heaven”? (He is talking about what we value,
about our priorities. Jesus illustrates this in verses 22 and 23. If we are focused upon the light of truth and
that is what we value, then our whole body will be characterized by that light of truth.)
Ask another class member to read aloud Matthew 6:24–34. Then ask these questions:
4. What contrast does Jesus make in this passage of Scripture? (Between two life ambitions: secular
and godly. The secular focus is on accumulating possessions, gaining more and more wealth. The godly
focus is on serving God, seeking His kingdom, and trusting Him to provide the basics of food and clothing.)
5. What is the point of Jesus’ illustrations about birds (v. 26) and flowers (v. 28)? (God will provide our
needs, so we have no cause for worry.)
6. What does Jesus say should be the first priority of every person? (Seeking the kingdom of God and
His righteousness, v. 33.)