19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:Matthew 6:19-20 (KJV)
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Treasures – We discovered in another post that laying up treasures was diligently adhering to the righteousness of God. It had everything to do with what you did. And the work that one did was defined by the works of the Torah.
We’ve heard countless times that our salvation is through grace alone. It doesn’t matter what we do because Yeshua did it all. The modern-day Christian would have us believe that our faith is purely cognitive. What we think, it more important than what we do. As long as I cognitively recognize that Yeshua is the Son of God, then I’m saved.
Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case. Faith without works is dead. Our life here requires good deeds, and our good deeds must align with the Torah. We must break free from this paradigm and move closer to the Jewish worldview – the worldview of Yeshua and His Apostles.
For some introspection, let’s take a look at what some of the Jewish sages taught. I enjoy reading these.
Rabbi Jacob said: this world is like a vestibule before the world to come; prepare yourself in the vestibule, so that you may enter the banqueting-hall. He used to say: more precious is one hour in repentance and good deeds in this world, than all the life of the world to come; And more precious is one hour of the tranquility of the world to come, than all the life of this world.Pirke Avot 4:16-17
This world is intended as some stage of preparation for the world to come. Rambam explains this further in his commentary on the Mishnah, “…after death there is neither perfection nor addition; rather, man will achieve perfection and add virtue in this world… However that state in which man departs will remain with him for eternity.” What we achieve in life determines the state we will be in when we die and pass into eternity. One hour of repentance in this world is, therefore, exceedingly better than all the life of the world to come if that hour had not happened. Further speaking, an eternity that is achieved in this state of repentance and good deeds ensures an eternity that exceeds the life of this world.
One who takes pains on Shabbat eve will eat on Shabbat, but one who did not take pains on Shabbat eve, from where will he eat on Shabbat?Avodah Zarah 3a
In the quote above, Ramchal suggests that the time for preparation is now. Christians look to the time of the Messiah’s return as a final Sabbath that will last for eternity. This makes perfect sense in this light. Just as Moses instructed all the Israelites to gather extra Mannah the day before the Sabbath in the wilderness, so too must we prepare ourselves today before the final Sabbath of rest.
This world may be compared to the land, and the world to come to the sea. If a man lay not up provisions while on land, what will he eat when at sea?Koheleth R. to 1.15
Such beautiful metaphors! While philosophy and theology are inspirational and helpful to increase our understanding, it is all second in relation to what we actually do. This was the message of the Messiah. This is what many of us have forgotten. Praying for those in need, while important, is nothing without actually helping them.
Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven; good deeds and repentance in accordance with the Torah.