“No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
There are a lot of words that people call Jesus, but “Master” is not one of them. Jesus may be Savior, Redeemer, Healer, even King. But I don’t think that we in modern society like to think of anyone as our master. That denotes a slave/master relationship.
This hits on a point mentioned by Michael Card in his recent concert at St. Giles Presbyterian. Card said, “You aren’t truly free until you are Christ’s slave.” He went on to talk about how the servant language in Scripture helps us understand the upside down freedom of the Christian Gospel. People who live for themselves think that they are free. But they are actually bound by their own appetites. We all serve something.
I have always thought that the real evil in this passage was money. But money is just the vehicle for the real idol to fulfill its desires. In this passage, Jesus is clearly pointing to a greater evil. It lurks within us all. It is the god of self. The worship of our own desires.
I believe Jesus was saying that we can’t serve God and ourselves. Sometimes we think we can be in two camps at once. But Christ is clear. There is no middle ground. In any given moment of our lives, we are either living for God or living for ourselves.
Chasing after money is a clear sign of what is going on in our heart. There can be no two masters because we will chose to love one and despise the other. The biggest danger is when we think we can equally serve both sides at once.