Skip to main content

"Treaures in Heaven," Matthew 6:19-21; 7:1-27

Matthew 6:19-21; 7:1-27

Reviewing this block of fundamental teachings of the Savior's, I realize that I am perhaps not as familiar with these teachings as I ought to be.

The first group of verses addresses "treasures in heaven" wherein those who make such their prerogative are found to be possessed of that which is eternal, that which cannot be corrupted with time and which will not be allowed to be stolen or taken from us. One of those treasures is family. Another is who we are becoming.

I appreciate the simple fail-safe test found in 6:21,"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

Moving on to chapter 7, the Savior states "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged." I have recently asked myself  is it better to be optimistically hopeful, and to hope for the best in everyone. This is to some considered to be naivety. However, in truer light, I find myself coming to terms with the reality that I am as much in need of mercy as any other. Who am I to find fault, if I expect and plead for mercy from the Perfect Judge of us all. Perhaps, it is in knowing where I stand before God, knowing that he has so frequently extended mercy to me that makes it so easy to extend mercy to others.

In 7:6, this verse has often left me to wonder what was considered to be holy that we shouldn't give it to common dogs, or what are those pearls that we don't throw to the pigs. The Joseph Smith translation, and the Spirit of the Lord that was within me, gave understanding of what the Savior meant.

Go ye into the world, saying unto all, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come nigh unto you.
And the mysteries of the kingdom ye shall keep within yourselves; for it is not meet to give that which is holy unto the dogs; neither cast ye your pearls unto swine, lest they trample them under their feet.
For the world cannot receive that which ye, yourselves, are not able to bear; wherefore ye shall not give your pearls unto them, lest they turn again and rend you.


In 7:7-8, one of the most powerful invitations in all of the scriptures can be found, and it is an open invitation to the knowledge and power of God. "And everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seekth findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."

The remainder of this chapter is centered on the differences between good gifts and bad gifts, good fruits and bad fruits. It leaves me to contemplate what are the good gifts and fruits of which Jesus makes reference to. He never details what the gifts are but rather discusses the contrast between good and evil gifts and fruits. It is also interesting the the evil fruits are still called fruits, or that they are perceived as such. They are the results of our labors and actions.

The fruits, or gifts of which Jesus speaks are such as are found mentioned elsewhere such as love for one another, compassion for little children, faith in Jesus Christ, repentance of sin, hope, patience, temperance, and more. What the Savior teaches in this chapter is then pivotal to obtaining such gifts. If we ask God, he will give them us. It strikes me that these gifts are only obtained through prayer. Every good gift is obtained through prayer. I don't know why that should strike me as strange, because what we are asking for is to become like God. These gifts are the changing of our souls, the only thing that we take with us when we leave this world behind. How profound is this point.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Let Your Light So Shine," Matthew 5:3-16

Matthew 5:3-16

These verses are ringing out in my ears this morning as a cry for repentance.

Alma 60:23 - "...Remember that God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also."

Revisiting these brief statements of hope, I paused on "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." The Savior doesn't offer much explanation on how this would happen or why or anything of the sort. But then I cross referenced footnotes until I arrived at Isaiah 60:20. I went back and read the entire chapter. Doing so, it becomes clearly evident that those who ever had cause to mourn, will -- in some great future day-- never have cause to mourn again.

Understanding this also gives pause to lessen the pains of present challenges.

--------

This brings us to consider one of the great oxymorons of  Christ's teachings:
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father…

"For In Such an Hour as Ye Think Not," Matthew 24:36-51

Matthew 24:36-51,

At the end of this chapter, the Savior is discoursing on the time of his Second Coming. This proceeds the three parables about the end of times: the virgins, the talents, and the sheep and goats.

In JST-Matthew 1:39-40, it talks of how the elect will see the signs of his coming, but that ultimately, no one knows when that day shall come except that we are told that it will come when we do not expect to see it. It will be "business as usual" until the day of His Coming. That is humbling because today is a day of "business as usual." And so what Christ is saying is that it will be a day, just like today, when He comes again. 

Vs. 48 sums up the whole of it: "Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh."

"A Sower Went Forth to Sow," Matthew 13:1-23

Matthew 13:1-23

The parable of the sower as taught in these verses I feel is fairly well known. What follows the Savior's initial instructions however is notably decisive in explaining the difference between the true disciples of Christ, and those who will casually pass by to listen, but with no intent to act on what is heard.

There is much to study here, but what is curious about this passage is that I find there are distinct parallels between these fundamental teachings of Christ, and in the early recorded scriptural documents in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

For example, compare Matthew 13:11 with Doctrine and Covenants 6:11-12