What are the “treasures” Jesus calls us to lay up in heaven? If they are spiritual, does that mean they are not tangible, physical things (crowns would be tangible)? My first thought was that it is referring to souls that God has used us to lead to Jesus. But maybe it’s more? Would love to hear your insight!


Hello Heidi,

Thank you for your thought provoking question! The passage you are referring to comes from the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 6:19-21):

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Commentators differ on this matter, often explaining the concept only in a general sense. Some suggest “rewards.” Whatever their specific nature, it would seem that because these are treasures in heaven, they would be eternal.

As to tangible versus intangible, perhaps it may be both. I’ve often thought of souls being a part of treasure in heaven, especially in light of God’s valuation of a soul, purchased at the price of Christ’s blood. Yet, this will also be manifested through what some call the “soul winner’s crown” intimated in passages like Philippians 4:1 and 1 Thessalonians 2:19. While a soul is intangible, a crown would likely be tangible, whatever that means in the heavenly economy. Crowns are described as “incorruptible” (1 Cor. 9:25) and therefore fit the description by Jesus of that which neither moth, nor rust can corrupt.

What is certain is we must treasure that which is eternal, not that which is temporal. In so doing we will lay up treasure in heaven by the grace of God.


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