24 No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Whew! Jesus doesn’t pull any punches here! Here, in His first preaching on the mountainside, we see Him warning all in attendance about the dangers of putting too much importance on money and worldly treasure. (We see similar warnings in Luke 16:13 and James 4:4–this is important enough to be repeated in Scripture!)
Now, this Scripture does not mean that we as Christians are not allowed to make money at all; what it means is that we must be careful about the priority we place on any money God blesses us with. If we begin to seek money purely for its own sake, accumulating wealth just so we can have pride in it, we have indeed placed money above God as our “master.” As Jesus points out, the love of money necessarily means that God gets excluded from our lives, because more money means a greater feeling of personal power. The more powerful we see ourselves, the less we depend on God–it’s a slippery slope.
But just resolving to “keep God first in our lives” doesn’t mean that we won’t slip into a money-serving mindset over time. This is something we have to keep evaluating ourselves about, something we have to be constantly mindful of. Otherwise, we could end up drifting away from God and not even realizing it–this is why Jesus speaks so bluntly about this problem!