People say, “You can’t take it with you.” Yeshua contradicted that adage by citing the common Jewish belief that resources given to the needy will be repaid and rewarded in the Messianic Era and the World to Come. “Treasures in heaven” does not refer to literal treasure stored up someplace beyond the sky, instead, it means “treasure with God.” That is to say, “Invest in the things of God and He will reward you.”
Lose your money for your brother and your neighbor, but do not let it rust under a stone to be lost. Lay up your treasure according to the commandments of the most High, and it will bring you more profit than gold. Store up charity in your storehouses and it will deliver you from all affliction. (Sirach 29:10-12)
A person who accrues wealth for himself risks losing that wealth. Life is temporary and uncertain. Thieves might steal. Time destroys. Wealth depreciates. James, the brother of the Master, expounds upon Yeshua’s teaching as follows:
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure! (James 5:1-3)
How does one store up treasure with God? Yeshua says, “Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:33-34). A man’s heart (that is, his mind, thoughts, and intentions) will be focused on the accumulation of his wealth. If he has accumulated wealth on earth, his mind will be focused on earthly matters, but if he has invested in the things of God, his mind will be focused on matters of godliness.
In the Apostolic Era, the famous convert to Judaism King Izates of Adiabene sent an enormous sum of money to Jerusalem for famine relief. His brothers and countrymen criticized him for squandering the family inheritance. His reply, recorded in the Talmud, reveals influence from the teaching of Yeshua:
My fathers stored up below and I am storing above … My fathers stored in a place which can be tampered with, but I have stored in a place which cannot be tampered with … My fathers stored something which produces no fruits, but I have stored something which does produce fruits … My fathers gathered for this world, but I have gathered for the future world. (b.Bava Batra 11a)