Monday, July 21, 2014

Bonhoeffer, 1937. Chapter 17, "The Simplicity of the Carefree Life"

Chapter 17, “The Simplicity of the Carefree Life”

In Matthew 6:19-24 Jesus tells his disciples not to be concerned about possessions but to lay up treasure in heaven. He also tells them their eye is the lamp of the body. If their eye is single, focused rightly, they are full of light. Jesus then warns against serving God and riches.

Bonhoeffer tells us that we are in the light only as we look entirely to Christ, nowhere else. He goes so far as to say that Jesus’ work cannot penetrate a heart which is closed (Loc. 2421). It is, then, only through our having our eyes focused solely on Jesus that we can be his disciples.

This world, however, is full of material goods. Jesus himself had some. Bonhoeffer suggests we can find our heart and its desires by seeing what our treasure is. If our treasure is Christ and his kingdom we are looking to him. So should we simply enjoy the material blessings of God? Bonhoeffer rejects this idea, as material blessings compete for our hearts. Rather, we look to God alone for all our supply, including daily provisions. Looking ahead and preparing for the future is failure to trust God. Being true disciples takes away our anxiety, as we see the Lord provides all our needs.

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