I was working on this blog recently when I received a text message on my phone from the John Maxwell Company. The text was a brief message and link to a live webcast where John was speaking at a church in Florida. Since I really enjoy John Maxwell, and I was already on my computer, I opened the link and began watching. I have multiple screens connected to my computer so I continued working on my blog (I was creating a table list of the Parables of Jesus with Verse Pop-Ups) in one screen and began watching the webcast in another simultaneously. I downloaded and printed the sermon notes that were available and was filling in the blanks as I listened to the message. I would concentrate for a while typing on my blog. When I heard something interesting I would watch the webcast and fill-in the sermon notes as the answers were given.
During this process I was struck by the concentration required to correctly type tedious information on the computer while being distracted by sights and sounds of the webcast. It was difficult to truly focus on my typing because I was continually drawn away by the webcast message. Since I was trying to give my full attention to two things at once I discovered that I did not do either very well. At the end of the webcast I realized I made several typing mistakes in my blog and I did not fill-in all the blanks on the message outline. If I had to score myself, at best I would give myself a C+ on both activities.
This example gives a glimpse into something Jesus spoke about in Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.. As was his pattern Jesus used a natural truth to communicate a spiritual truth. The natural truth is iterated in the first sentence and the spiritual truth is communicated in the second sentence. The phrase No man serve two masters illustrates Jesus’ understanding of natural things…no doubt he witnessed this scenario (as you most likely have in the business world) in his business as a carpenter for hire. However, he transforms this truth beyond natural understanding into spiritual revelation by his statement Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Mammon refers to money, wealth and riches.
Notice that Jesus does not protest having God or having money: he protests trying to serve both of them simultaneously. Jesus demands (as does natural and spiritual law) that we make a choice. Of course Jesus expects us to make a choice for God and live with His blessing. But, if we choose mammon we must be willing to live with the consequences of that decision.