Tag Archives: No servant can serve two masters

Sunday Devotional: No servant can serve two masters

Luke 16:10-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,
who will trust you with true wealth?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is yours?
No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and mammon.”
The Pharisees, who loved money,
heard all these things and sneered at him.
And he said to them,
“You justify yourselves in the sight of others,
but God knows your hearts;
for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.”

Mammon from Collin de Plancy’s Dictionnaire Infernal (1818), a book on demonology

Mammon in Hebrew (ממון) means “money”. In the New Testament, however, mammon does not mean just money, but is associated with the greedy pursuit of profit and gain. For Christians, mammon is a pejorative, a term used to describe gluttony, excessive materialism, greed, and unjust worldly gain.

In the Middle Ages, mammon was often personified as a deity and sometimes included in the seven princes of Hell; St. Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335 – c. 395) asserted that Mammon was another name for Beelzebub. During the generation of 1880-1925, American populists used “Mammon” with specific reference to the consolidated wealth and power of the banking and corporate institutions headquartered on Wall Street and their predacious activities nationwide. In contemporary pop culture today, various characters and demons are named Mammon in books, film, TV, anime, and video games.

While Jesus our Lord instructs us in Luke 16:13 that “You cannot serve God and mammon,” His injunction goes beyond mammon, the greedy and unjust pursuit of money, to include any and all ungodly obsessive pursuits and preoccupations because “No servant can serve two masters.”

And so, Luke 16:13 can be generalized to mean “You cannot serve God and your self,” for any one and any thing that we price more than God is a violation of the First Commandment (“I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no other gods before me”) and of the Greatest Commandment of all — to love God with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind, and with all our strength.

Always remember this is what He did for us:

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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