The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery explains treasure as follows: "Given the natural human tendency to desire, pursue and hoard material wealth, treasure comes to symbolize what people consider truly valuable, worth possessing and pursuing. As a symbol then of value and significance, the kind of treasure a person seeks indicates what he or she esteems as most important. And what people treasure (value in their hearts) determines how they live."
What do you treasure? This question, implied throughout the month, was raised directly in today’s passage by Jesus. The main idea of these verses is not to worry about material needs such as food and clothing (vv. 22, 29). Why not? Because life is so much more than such things (v. 23), and God has promised to provide (vv. 28, 30–31). For example, He provides for birds (v. 24) and wildflowers (v. 27)—and if that’s true, how much more will He provide for you! Therefore, worry is useless (vv. 25–26).
Where is our treasure? Jesus explained that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (v. 34). Material needs such as food and clothing are far too trivial to set your heart upon or to pursue as if they had lasting value. Unbelievers may treasure material possessions, but we’re called to be different (see the June 12–13 study). Habitual worry indicates a lack of faith. We worry because we’re afraid God won’t provide (see also Phil. 4:6–7). Generosity is the opposite of worry (vv. 32–33).
What is worth setting our hearts on? The eternal kingdom of God (v. 31)! It’s not a thing we earn, but rather, it’s a gift of God (v. 32). We treasure it through concrete actions such as giving to the poor.
We live in a generally affluent society that never seems to have “enough.” In today’s reading, Jesus links worry to a lack of compassion or generosity. When we hoard resources, we are merely storing temporal treasures. But giving to the poor is storing up treasures in heaven. How might God be leading you to give to others today?