The Thesaurus of the Heart
The Lord Jesus told many parables and used multiple illustrations that had a secondary audience. In Luke 6 he is addressing his disciples–‘And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said...’ (v20)–but you get the feeling that His perennial enemies, the scribes and the Pharisees, were not far away (v7).
Towards the end of his account of the Sermon on the Mount, Luke records a parable that concludes with the Lord stating that it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. The word ‘abundance’ means ‘overflow’ and so the point He is making is one that we know to be true from our own experience: your priorities define your character. You will be known by what you talk about; what you talk about will be what your heart overflows with.
In the previous statements of His argument, the Lord gives more information. The heart is like a ‘repository’, or a ‘collection of treasure.’ The word for ‘treasure’ is the word that has been transliterated into English as, ‘thesaurus.’ This captures the idea perfectly. The word has come to mean a ‘collection’, or ‘store-house’ of words, used to provide a synonym to a known word. Ask any writer, a thesaurus is a treasure trove! So the Lord says; ‘a good man out of the treasure of his heart produces good’ (6:45, ESV).
The Pharisees were a prime example of this principle in action. All they spoke of was exactness and legalism. Why? Because that was what was in their heart! They lived for it; doubtless they would die for it too. They had added to the law making it more onerous, and thus less likely that they could keep it, but they had done it because their heart was a treasure trove of performance based ritual and zero reality. The Lord confronted their dogma directly: ‘what you speak about is what your heart overflows with.’
As you prepare to remember Him again this morning, ask yourself what your heart has been over-flowing with this week? Maybe it is legitimate–work, family, responsibility–or maybe it has been overflowing with sin? It would be good if we all could adopt the attitude of the Psalmist: ‘My heart overflows with a pleasing theme’ (Psalm 45:1, ESV) and ‘I have composed this special song for the king’ (NET).