The Sermon on the Mount talks about what it will look like if we take the essential message of Jesus Christ and live it out. Jesus tells us three things we can draw out about money and possessions. He tells us how money exercises power over us, why money exercises power over us, and how we can break the power.
How money exercises power over us: by blinding us to greed.
One of the curious things for anybody trying to understand the passage is this illustration about the eye. It says, "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness." Now what that means is simple. There's light in this room, and if your eye works, if it takes the light in, you will by the light be able to move your body through the room. You'll see where the aisle is, and you won't stumble or fall. All this is saying is if your eye isn't working, even though there's light around the rest of your body, your whole body is, in a sense, in the darkness. If your eye is not working, there's a sense in which no other part of your body can see or take the light in. So if your eye is not working, your whole body is in darkness, whether or not the whole room is flooded with light.
In Luke 11 Jesus uses the same illustration, that the eye is the lamp of the body, that if your eye is dark, your whole body is dark. He also talks about money again. It's connected. When you get into Luke 12, after he talks about the eye and the lamp, he says: so watch out for greed.
He's saying that materialism materialism is an inordinate desire or "dependence on money and material thingshas the peculiar effect of blinding you spiritually, of distorting the way you see things. ...
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Timothy Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. He is also the Chairman & Co-Founder of Redeemer City to City, which starts new churches in New York and other global cities, and publishes books and resources for ministry in an urban environment.