Matthew 6:25-34

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

DO NOT WORRY

INTRODUCTION:

 

Last week we considered Matthew 6:19-24 where we saw that we must be exclusively devoted to God.

 

We saw that we should be exclusively devoted to God because the things of the world are so perishable. Therefore, we should be laying up treasures in heaven rather than treasures upon earth.

 

We also saw that we should be exclusively devoted to God because otherwise our vision is adversely affected. If a man’s spiritual sense is healthy and his affections are directed toward heavenly treasure, his whole life will be without blemish.

 

Finally, we saw that we should be exclusively devoted to God because it is impossible to serve two masters.

 

In Matthew 6:25-34 we see that we should stop worrying about our treasures and that we should be seeking first the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness.

 

For this reason, we should not be overly concerned about what we are going to be able to eat, drink, or wear. God the Father has fed the birds, and we are better than the birds. Furthermore, worrying will not accomplish anything. God clothes the lilies of the field better than Solomon was clothed; so, there is no reason to be worrying about whether we’ll have enough clothing. God, who knows all our needs, will meet our need for food, drink, and clothing; so, there is no reason for us to be unduly concerned about these things. We are promised that if, above all else, we will seek God’s reign in our lives and God’s righteousness, God will meet all our needs. Therefore, let’s trust Him to supply our needs rather than be worrying about them. We should take care of things for today and trust God to take care of things for tomorrow.

We see that we should avoid anxiety because –

    I.     ANXIETY IS NEEDLESS - 6:25-26, 28-30

 

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

 

In verse 25 Jesus instructs those listening to (or reading) the Sermon on the Mount that they should not be unduly concerned about whether they will have enough to eat, drink, or wear. There are more important things in life for them to concern themselves with.

 

Therefore is because of this or on account of this where this refers to the fact that no one is able to be serving God and money in verse 24.

 

I say unto you indicates that Jesus is saying this to His listeners and readers.

 

What He is saying is, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.

 

Take no thought forbids an action already going on from continuing. It suggests stop taking thought, stop being unduly concerned, stop being anxious, or stop having anxiety. It implies that they were being unduly concerned for these things. The verb translated take . . . thought is also found in Philippians 4:6-7 where it is translated be careful.

 

Philippians 4:6-7 – (6) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 

In Matthew 6:25 Jesus indicates two things for which believers should not be unduly concerned: your life and your body.

 

For your life means for your earthly life, which is referring to your being alive. Food and drink are necessary to sustain life, but God is very capable of providing the food and drink needed.

 

What ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink is what you might eat and what you might drink. These things should not be of undue concern to believers. God knows your needs, and He has promised to meet them.

 

Jesus is also teaching that there should not be undue concern for whatever clothing is needed as nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on indicates.

 

Nor yet is and not or neither.

 

The specific concern someone might have for your body is what ye shall put on, i.e. what you might wear or what you might clothe yourselves in.

 

Jesus then asks, Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? The structure of His question implies that a positive answer is expected? Yes, the earthly life (i.e. your being alive) is more than (i.e. is something greater than or is more important than) food, and the body is more than (i.e. is something greater than or is more important than) clothing.

 

Matthew 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

 

In verse 26 Jesus calls attention to the birds and how God the Father looks after them and indicates that His listeners are much better than the birds.

 

Behold suggests look at or consider.

 

The fowls of the air is the birds of the heaven and suggests the birds of the sky.

 

For is understood the sense of that and introduces some specific things about birds which Jesus is about to state.

 

That they sow not is that they are not sowing seed.

 

Neither do they reap is nor are they reaping (or harvesting).

 

Nor gather into barns is nor are they gathering into storehouses.

 

Yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.

 

Yet introduces a contrast in the sense of but.

 

Your heavenly Father refers to God the Father.

 

But your heavenly Father feeds them indicates that God the Father provides food or nourishment for the birds.

 

The structure of are ye not much better than they? indicates that a positive answer is expected for this question in the sense of, You are much better than they are, aren’t you? Yes you are much better than the birds of the air.

 

Ye is emphatic and refers to the listeners or readers of the Sermon on the Mount.

 

You are much better than they suggests you are worth more than the birds, you are of more value than the birds, or you are superior to the birds.

 

Skip down to verse 28 –

Matthew 6:28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.

 

In verse 28 Jesus asks His listeners another question.

 

Why take ye thought? is why are you having anxiety?, why are you being anxious?, or why are you being (unduly) concerned?

 

For raiment is about clothing or about garments. The implication is that they should not be unduly concerned about having adequate clothing because God will meet their needs.

 

Consider is notice, observe, or observe well.

 

What they are to consider is the lilies of the field.

 

Specifically, they are to consider how they [i.e. the lilies] grow, i.e. how the lilies increase or how the lilies become greater.

 

They [i.e. the lilies] toil not, neither do they spin indicates how they do not grow.

 

They toil not suggests they are not toiling, they are not working, they are not striving, or they are not struggling.

 

Neither do they [i.e. the lilies] spin is neither are they spinning. It suggests that they are not spinning thread to make cloth for their own garments.

 

Matthew 6:29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

 

In verse 29 Solomon, who may have been the wealthiest man who ever lived, was not dressed in as fine a clothing as the lilies of the field which God clothed.

 

And yet introduces a statement in mild contrast to a previous statement and suggests but.

 

I say unto you is I (i.e. Christ) am saying (i.e. I am asserting or I am declaring) to you (i.e. to you, the hearers (or readers) of the Sermon on the Mount.

 

What Jesus is saying is, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these, i.e. that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself (or dressed himself) like one of these (i.e. like one of these lilies of the field).

 

Matthew 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

 

In verse 30 Jesus indicates that God Who clothed the grass of the field so well will certainly take care of His people.

 

Wherefore signals a slight change of direction in the context and suggests now. There follows a condition whose structure in the Greek text indicates that, for sake of discussion, it is assumed to be true.

 

The condition is if God so clothe the grass of the field.

 

Its conclusion is shall he not much more clothe you?

 

Of course, the condition is true; so, if suggests since, because, inasmuch as, or in view of the fact that.

 

So is thus or in this manner.

 

The grass of the field suggests the wild grass of the field in contrast to cultivated plants.

 

Which to day is describes the grass of the field and suggests which is (here) today or which is (alive) today.

 

And to morrow is cast into the oven further describes the grass of the field and suggests and the next day is cast into a furnace. Inasmuch as the condition is true, the conclusion is also true. If in this manner God clothes the wild grass of the field which is alive today and tomorrow is cast into a furnace, and He does.

 

Shall he not much more clothe you? is a question whose structure assumes a positive answer: Yes, He will much more clothe you, i.e. you listeners or readers of the Sermon on the Mount, who are described by O ye of little faith, i.e. little faith ones.

 

Go back to verse 27 where we also see that we should avoid anxiety because –

  II.     ANXIETY IS USELESS - 6:27

 

Matthew 6:27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

 

In verse 27 Jesus asks His listeners a question which demonstrates their inability to do something miraculous.

 

Which of you? suggests, Which (one) of you? or, Who of you?

 

You refers to Jesus’ listeners.

 

By taking thought suggests by having anxiety, by being anxious, or by being (unduly) concerned. It might instead be understood as a condition in the sense of if you take thought, if you have anxiety, if you are anxious, or if you are (unduly) concerned.

 

Can add suggests is able to add.

 

One cubit unto his stature is one cubit to his bodily stature.

 

A cubit is approximately eighteen inches. It is the approximate measure of a man’s forearm from the tip of his fingers to his elbow. Of course, the answer to this question is, No one or, Nobody can add eighteen inches to his height by being unduly concerned over his height.

In addition, we see that we should avoid anxiety because –

 III.     ANXIETY MAKES GOD’S PEOPLE NO BETTER THAN THE PAGANS - 6:31-32A

 

Matthew 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

 

Verse 31 draws an inference from what Jesus stated in verses 25-30.

 

Therefore suggests consequently, accordingly, then, or so.

 

Take no thought forbids an action in its very beginning and suggests do not begin to (or never) take thought (i.e. have anxiety, be anxious, or be unduly concerned).

 

Saying introduces three questions which an individual who is unduly concerned might be asking: What shall we eat?, What shall we drink?, and Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (i.e. What will we put on?). These questions suggest that someone is unduly anxious or concerned because he is worried that he will not have adequate food, drink, and clothing.

 

Matthew 6:32 a – (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:). . . .

 

In verse 32a Jesus explains that the pagans are concerned for these things because they do not know God the Father.

 

For all these things is referring to the food, drink, and clothing which Jesus’ listeners are not to be unduly concerned about.

 

The Gentiles is the pagans or the nations, i.e. those people from nations other than Israel who do not know God.

 

After all these things do the Gentiles seek is after all these things the Gentiles are searching for, seeking after, or wishing for.

We furthermore see that we should avoid anxiety because –

 IV.     GOD KNOWS OUR TEMPORAL NEEDS - 6:32B

 

Matthew 6:32 b – . . . For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

 

For your heavenly Father knoweth is for your Father, the heavenly One, knows.

 

What He knows is, That ye have need of all these things is that you are needing all these (things). Inasmuch as He has promised to provide them (i.e. food, drink, and clothing), there is no reason for His people to be overly concerned about them.

Moreover, we see that we should avoid anxiety because –

   V.     GOD WILL SUPPLY OUR TEMPORAL NEEDS AS WE SEEK HIM FIRST - 6:33

 

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

 

Whereas verse 31 indicates what Jesus’ listeners are not to be doing, verse 33 indicates what Jesus’ listeners are to be doing.

 

But introduces this statement in mild contrast to what He said in verse 31.

 

Seek is be seeking. It suggests be striving for, be aiming (at), be trying to obtain, be desiring, or be wishing (for).

 

First suggests in the first place, above all, or especially.

 

What Jesus’ listeners are to be seeking above all else in life is the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

 

The kingdom of God suggests God’s reign in your lives.

 

And his righteousness refers to God the Father’s righteousness in your lives.

 

The most important thing for us to be seeking in life is to be completely submissive to God and to be pursuing after Him with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strengths. Righteousness is obtained by a believer when he places his trust in what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for him on the cross at Calvary. God the Father justifies the believer at the instant of his salvation. This means that He judicially declares the believer to be righteous in His sight because of His relationship to Christ. The righteousness in verse 33, however, speaks of a practical righteousness which is produced in the life of the believer by God the Holy Spirit. You have a righteous standing in God’s sight because you are saved. Therefore, you should be living a righteous life. The fruit of the Spirit is produced by the Holy Spirit in the individual believer as he submits his heart and mind to the teaching of the Bible. Galatians 5:22-23 says,

 

Galatians 5:22-23 – (22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

 

The fruit of the Spirit amounts to Christlikeness. In addition, God the Holy Spirit makes believers more and more Christlike as they look into the mirror of the Word of God, i.e. as they study their Bibles and as they submit their hearts and minds to its teaching.

 

II Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

 

Righteousness or uprightness is the state of being right with God. Christlikeness is righteousness because Christ is perfectly righteous.

 

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness is equivalent to the condition if you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

 

And all these things shall be added unto you expresses the result of Jesus’ statement or the conclusion of the equivalent conditional statement. If, above all else in life, someone seeks the reign or rule of God and God’s righteousness in his life, God will meet his needs. The promise of God’s meeting all his needs, however, is conditioned upon the individual’s seeking above all else in life God’s rule and righteousness in his life.

 

All these things refers to his needs for food, drink, and clothing.

 

Shall be added unto you is will be provided (i.e. will be given or will be granted) to you, i.e. to you who are listening to or reading the Sermon on the Mount. God will meet your needs if you put Him first in your lives.

Finally, we see that we should avoid anxiety because –

 VI.     ANXIETY ADDS TOMORROW’S ANXIETIES TO TODAY’S ANXIETIES - 6:34

 

Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

 

Verse 34 summarizes Jesus’ instructions in verses 25-33.

 

Take therefore no thought is repeated from verse 31.

 

Therefore suggests consequently, accordingly, then, or so.

 

Take . . . no thought forbids an action in its very beginning in the sense of do not begin to (or never) take thought (i.e. have anxiety, be anxious, or be unduly concerned).

 

For the morrow is for the next day. Jesus is not advocating against thinking or planning ahead but is advocating against being overly concerned or worried about things.

 

For introduces an explanation of why Jesus said, Take . . . no thought for the morrow.

 

The morrow is the next day.

 

Shall take thought for is will care for or will be concerned about.

 

The things of itself is its own things.

 

Sufficient unto the day is enough (or adequate) for the day.

 

Is the evil thereof suggests (is) its own trouble or (is) its own misfortune. Each day has enough misfortune of its own without being overly concerned about the next day’s misfortune.

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