Thursday, January 19, 2006

Matthew and Money

"Whatever I love, I finance. And whatever I finance, I love."

Scot McKnight has been blogging on and off on the Sermon on the Mount, most recently on money. One particular question related to this is the interpretation of Matthew 6.21: "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

I want to point out two possible ways to interpret this verse, which may not be mutually exclusive. 1) Does the location of one's investment (heaven or earth) reveal the commitment of one's heart? 2) Or does one's heart follow one's stockpile? paraphrased from Nolland, The Gospel of Matthew NIGTC, 299.

Davies-Allison and Nolland favor the former. Nolland points out that verse 24 will add love to the discussion, and suggests that this indicates that the first interpretation has it right: love produces works.

But it's certainly possible to see the second option as well: works are indicative of, and may even lead to, true love. As anyone who has a child or spouse can tell you, serving someone can actually change your heart towards them. I care about the things to which I give myself. When billionaires buy ball clubs, they care more than ever about those teams. And when I give my money to missions, the poor, or my church, I may in fact be fostering a greater heart connection than previously existed.

In sum, I suspect both of these interpretations are applicable. Whatever I love, I finance. And whatever I finance, I inevitably wind up loving more than I did before I gave. If you want to find out what someone loves, look at their bank statement.


Blogger Alan S. Bandy said...

I found your blog linked to Dave Black. We all have our favorite NT books don't we? Anyway, I noticed you live in Memphis. I used to live there, acutally Olive Branch. I plan to be back to Memphis in April to perform a wedding. Email me if you would like to try and get together for coffee for something (should time allow).

1:07 PM, January 27, 2006  
Blogger J. B. Hood said...


Thanks for the word--I intend on putting your blog up when and if I get to making a blog list. It's helpful to have blogs on specific books, particularly from those in the trenches studying them for long stretches of time.

April is hectic but I'd love to try to meet--stay tuned, keep me posted, etc. I'll be in the throes of writing a chapter, so chatting then might be a good move for me.

3:34 PM, January 30, 2006  
Blogger Michael F. Bird said...

Jase, when did ya start your own blog? Did you ever tell me?

6:24 AM, January 31, 2006  

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