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Who Will You Serve?
March 4, 2022

For quite some time, Jesus had been talking with the Pharisees, lawyers and the rich. In Luke chapter 14, He went into the home of a rich Pharisee and his friends where he talked with them a good portion of the day. In Luke 15, Jesus tells them parables about repentance. Now, in Luke 16 the topic is finances, money and the rich. Jesus drives home the point that a clear choice must be made of whom or what we will serve.

Luke 16:13, 14 says, “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him.”

It is at this point that Jesus is now made the object of scornful behavior and contemptuous language. They turn up their nose; openly sneer and mock, ridiculing and visually rejecting Him. Why the sudden open scorn? Because after speaking parables, visiting in their homes, making clear the righteous demands of God and telling of His love, He demands that they make a choice. Who is your master? Who will you serve? God or mammon?

Many try to serve both. They know enough about God that they have some respect for Him; however, their affections are so tied to the things of this world that they do not make the choice, as Jesus requires: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Many try to serve God and their money at the same time. But God demands all. God has made man with the capacity to love, but our hearts can have only one supreme love and all other loves are ordered under that. We cannot serve two masters. It is one-or-the-other, but never both.

Exodus 34:14 says, “For you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” God is jealous. When we say, “Lord, Lord,” with our lips but our affections are given to someone or something else, God is jealous. God requires that we worship Him and live to serve Him – “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment.” (Mark 12:30)

Mammon and the things of this world require that we work and live for the things of this present age. God requires that we that love Him and live for the eternal riches. The Pharisees do not turn to Christ in repentance instead they turn against Him in scorn and mocking: hating His words; hating His demands of forsaking all and following Him. The question is answered by the life that we live: “Who will you serve?”

This article was first published in The Omaha Star (Vol.84 – No.5) – March 4, 2022
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