No Man Can Serve Two Masters

W. Terry Varner
October 18, 2015

In the great Sermon on the Mount, Jesus instructs man: “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. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt. 6:24). This passage is filled with great and meaningful thoughts.

We Serve God with Our Heart. Once God’s laws are in our mind and written on our hearts, inspiration states, “I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people” (Heb. 8:10). Man is to serve God. Our service to God is directed by His laws (cf. Heb. 8:10). His law teaches us to love God with the totality of our being (cf. Matt. 22:37). If man is to be governed in his service to God by his heart and guided by His law, then his devotion to God must be undivided. We cannot compartmentalize Goa and godly things; that is, we cannot be divided in our devotion to Him. God must permeate all of life—our worship, our work, our play, etc. We cannot confine God to what we might term the religious or spiritual aspect of life. For us to do so makes us violate the very teaching of Jesus in Matthew 6:24.

We Are to Serve God with an Undivided Heart. Jesus said man is confronted by two masters (cf. Matt. 6:24). One master is God and the other master is anything that comes between God and man. We cannot serve both masters at the same time and please God, nor please the other master. We are to use our mind which involves our understanding and listening to God’s laws. When David said that a man is a fool if he denies God’s existence, he explained that the fool did not understand. “The looked down from heaven . . . to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God” (Ps. 14:2, emp. added). It is because of their understanding that they do not believe in God as the Master of life.

Men openly advocate ignoring, rejecting, and denying God’s very existence. A recent graduate from Harvard is quoted as saying, “The freedom of our day is the freedom to devote yourself to any values we please, on the mere condition that we do not believe them to be true” (Carson 97). For too long I have read that those who believe in God are primitive, unlearned, and ignorant in their thinking and those who are educated and learned know better than to believe in God. This is a poor argument because it means that denial, rejection, and disbelief in God is confined to the learned, educated, and people of knowledge. Moses, Solomon, and Paul were very educated but they believed in God.

It is difficult to believe that learning results in the denial of God. Learning did not make an unbeliever out of Jesus. “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience” (Heb. 5:8, emp. added). There are many people of knowledge, learning, culture, philosophy, science, medicine, etc., who are some of the greatest believers and supporters of God, Jesus, and the Bible! The great scientist Isaac Newton spent most of his time studying the Scriptures and considered his religious work as more important than his scientific work (Lloyd-Jones, Seeking 14).

To serve and please God requires knowledge and understanding or knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge refers to facts and wisdom refers to understanding. People can be learned and knowledgeable and still have hearts governed by lust, passions, and desires. They fail to serve God and are fools. They live life as they want and they altogether become filthy” (Ps. 14:3). On the other hand when a person seeks and serves God with all their heart, they live as God has dictated. They walk with God as He directs and governs their life.