One of the primary messages Christ preached when He had an opportunity to was the message at the mount known by so many today as the Beatitudes. He expressly brought to the attention of His hearers that He was not on earth for the obliteration of the Law, but to become a fulfillment of the same Law of Moses. The Law had to come to an end by one way or the other; the Law had condemned all of Mankind. We could not keep the Law without breaking one part of it or another. There was always a penalty attached to every part of the Law. Paul describes the Law as our schoolmaster leading us to God. Mankind was always the issue because of how we were wired. We had the nature that was diametrically opposed to that of God, we had the Sin Nature.
The Law is good and spiritual in its content, because it curbed the immorality of Man; by it was Mankind restrained from doing the evil that it was equipped to do. The Law had a perfectly legitimate function and without its clear guidelines for right and wrong, moral behavior would be mostly guesswork. Apart from the succinct, surgical command, “You shall not covet,” I could have dressed covetousness up to look like a virtue and ruined my life with it, says Apostle Paul.
The Apostle further said that, the Law started out as an excellent piece of work. What then happened was that sin found a way to pervert the command into a temptation, making a piece of “forbidden fruit” out of it. The Law code, instead of being used to guide me, was used to seduce me. Without all the paraphernalia of the Law, sin looked pretty dull and lifeless, and I went along without paying much attention to it. But once sin got its hands on the Law and decked itself out in all that finery, I was fooled, and fell for it. The very command that was supposed to guide me into life was cleverly used to trip me up, throwing me headlong. So sin was very much alive, and I was stone dead. But the Law itself is God’s good and common sense, each command a sane and holy counsel.
This is now the testimony of the Apostle concerning the Law and its embodiment: When he wanted to do that which was good, he couldn’t because the Sin Nature was very much alive in him. On the contrary when he wanted to do evil, there was plenty of energy to carry out that deed because the energy to do evil was ever present with him and then the totality of humanity. He would therefore need help or another kind of propelling force present within him so that when he desires to do good, he would have enough prowess to carry out the good. That propelling force will have to come from God and none other. This is the present state of Man; we need a propelling force in us that will make us choose the ways of God and His purpose for our lives. Ordinarily speaking this cannot be achieved through the Law of Moses, so there must be an end to the Law and something new must start.
Jesus now describes Himself as the fulfillment of the Law – since the Law ends in death having revived Sin. The wages of Sin must then be death. Jesus taking the place of the sinful, would offer Himself as ransom for the sins of mankind and what the Law was supposed to do (which was to penalize and kill because the wages of Sin is death), Jesus would offer to die for us initiating us into the new and living way. So the fulfillment of the Law because of Sin was the death, which Jesus paid for with His life.
Knowing this, there are then two natures in the life of a believer and that believer becomes a subject of any of these natures. In other words, there are two masters and inadvertently we become servants to whoever we yield to; whether God or the Devil. This was the reason why Jesus told them on the mount that, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon”. For example, one Master says an eye for an eye while the other Master is saying: if anyone slaps you on your cheek, turn the other cheek. With this instance, we are made aware of and advised to choose our master, the one we would like to serve.
Another example states that one master says to love your neighbor and hate your enemy, while the other master says: love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them who despitefully use and persecute you as children of our Father in Heaven; for what impact does one have if you return love with love. He rather advised that we return hate with love knowing that people who do not know God are capable of doing the same. Jesus here is making a demarcation between the two masters so that we are able to choose what master we would like to follow as responsible slaves.
Again, He gave another distinction between the two masters: One master would like to be seen by making a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding. The other master says: “When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. Perhaps you’ve seen them in action, ‘play-actors’ I call them, treating prayer meetings and street corners alike as a stage, acting compassionately as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applauded, true, but that’s all they get. When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.
Jesus concluded his comparisons by a thought-provoking example. He started with the first master and his antics: this master is very concerned about what he would eat, drink and wear without thinking about the life-giver; the servants of this master are the self-conceited arrogant ones who feel they can get anything they want without God, the maker and owner of all things. The servants of this master are compared to the Gentiles who have no Father that can provide for them. They worry about the future and drown themselves in the sea of thoughts on how to get these things not knowing that the amount of worry or thoughts is not what will bring solution to their problems.
The servants to the other master have no place for worries and thoughts on what to eat, drink or the clothes they would put on. They are connected to a Father who feeds the birds of the air, who do not sow nor reap nor gather into barns. The servants of this master would understand that they are of more value than the birds of the air, which their Father is careful to feed. The servants would also know about the lilies and how they grow, they do not toil neither do they spin yet even Solomon as richly dressed as he was, looked shabby alongside the lilies. They are aware of the fact that the grass of the field are well taken care of how much more this masters’ servant. They are aware of, and have the understanding that they have a Father unlike the Gentiles who do not have one. The servants of this master know to seek God and His righteousness primarily and the things (what we want and desire) would be added to them without drowning in the tsunami of thoughts and worry about the things. Finally they know that God gets to tomorrow before they do and are confident that their tomorrow is secure in the hands of God, so no cause for alarm.
C H Spurgeon says, “of all self-torture, that of importing future trouble into present account is, perhaps, the most insane”, this was how he defined WORRY.
Select who your Master is today!