Der Berufung des Matthaus by Pieter Claesz Scoutman 1593(?)-1657
The "servant" here is actually a slave. A man or woman nowadays can work two jobs or work for two different people. But a "servant" in this context cannot. His time belongs totally to his master, as does his energy and direction. A servant of God, therefore, cannot serve God part-time. Agreeing to become his servant means full-time, wherever we are, we are serving him.
And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things and they derided him.
They, who enjoyed spending resources on satisfying their own desires for material things or for ease and comfortable experiences looked down their noses at this idea. They likely thought this idea was financially impractical and/or overly idealistic. Do I? What keeps me from fully embracing servanthood? Fear of loss of stuff? Desire for ease? Comfort? Worry about not having enough?
And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts;
I can try to justify my less than full commitment, or my torn allegiances using the reasoning and assumptions of the culture in which I live, but I can't fool God. God knows exactly what it is I love more than I love giving my whole self to serve. I need to be as conscious of that about myself as He is. I need to wrestle that.
for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
Whoa. Abomination is a strong word. It's easy for me to point to things that OTHERS esteem in their lives, but that I don't, and say, "Yes. That's for sure." But it's foolish to think that because I might be able to pick out those stumbling blocks in someone else's life I don't have any of my own. And suddenly it's not just "mammon" it's "that which is highly esteemed among men". It is not only things and experiences and comfort that money can provide, but also honors, recognition, goals, hopes, desires that the world has taught me are worthy of esteem that I long for or cling to and whose pursuit, conscious or unconscious, divides my loyalty.
How to change my heart, let go, and fully serve?