The Parables of Jesus are some of the most beautiful lessons and teachings in the Bible. The Parables use simple language and analogies to impart wisdom and truth onto man, so that we may know the right path to take in life.
Very often when we’re unsure of what choice to make in life, the Parables are a wonderful guide to help us see the light — their spiritual wisdom is profound and one thing we can count on, is that they will never steer us wrong.
The Parable of not serving two masters is especially valuable because it shows us how choosing one over the other can lead to a life of strife and stress and the parable spells it out clearly: there is only one master to serve, so choose wisely.
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith?
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, `What shall we eat?’ or `What shall we drink?’ or `What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.
What does “serving two masters” mean? The result of trying to serve two masters, particularly one’s which are so polar opposite, is being literally at odds with oneself — it means being divided, which ultimately leads to inner conflict and turmoil and the person who tries to serve two masters, suffers greatly. We have to decide which is more important to us: the trappings of this world, which are centered around love of money, greed and an obsession with power, or, our eternal spirit.
The lesson of this beautiful Parable is that we can either serve mammon, which stands for material wealth and unbridled appetite for more and more, which then results in a life filled with anxiety and fear, or, we can serve God. We cannot however, serve both. Jesus uses nature to illustrate how easy the choice is: the birds to not sow or reap, yet they are fed and the lilies neither toil nor spin, yet they grow beautifully. This is why Jesus is comforting us to not be anxious, because life is so much more than food and the body is more than clothing. Choose mammon and one will lead a life of unease, anxiety and discontentment. If however, one chooses to put God first in all matters and to let God guide our hearts, we will live a life of peace, happiness and contentment. The choice seems abundantly clear, don’t you think?
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27