Mammon’s Wages

When the Bible puts a “therefore” at the front of a sentence, we must ask, “Why? What does this sentence have to do with the previous words?” In this case, the question is, What connection does the command not to worry have with the observation that “You cannot serve God and Mammon”? At the start of this section on our attitude towards earthly possessions, Jesus said, “Do not lay up for your selves treasures on earth…” and then had given several reasons: All earthly “treasures” will either rot or be stolen. They dominate our thoughts and thus our heart. Focusing on them will plunge us into darkness, leading us to make foolish decisions. In the end, we shall be slaves of the love of money, worshipers of Mammon. And Mammon pays bad wages! “THEREFORE,” continues Jesus, don’t worry about material things. He will go on to add several more reasons not to be eaten by anxiety for the future, but the “therefore” should be enough to remind us that Mammon – money and what it can buy - does not deserve our loyalty, much less our love. This “god” is a useless idol, unable to help us, and fully capable of inflicting great harm upon his devotees. We see, then, that we will worship and serve either God or Mammon. If we choose the latter course, we shall be plagued with worry every day of our lives, and Jesus wants to deliver us from such bondage. Indeed, Jesus came to “save His people from their sins.” He opened the Sermon on the Mount with the so-called Beatitudes, which describe the truly happy, prosperous, “fortunate” person. God sent His Son so that we might have life, true life, abundant life, instead of the misery that imprisons all who are slaves to error and idolatry. Jesus came to set us free from worry and anxiety. Shall we not accept His invitation?