MAX KLEIN BIBLE MINISTRIES
The Gospel of Matthew: Chapter Six
A verse-by-verse commentary by Max Klein
Matthew 6:1 “Beware, that you do not practice your righteousness before men to be noticed by them, otherwise [if you do not heed this warning] you have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
Προσέχετε [δὲ] τὴν δικαιοσύνην ὑµῶν µὴ ποιεῖν ἔµπροσθεν τῶν ἀνθρώπων πρὸς τὸ θεαθῆναι αὐτοῖς· εἰ δὲ µήγε, µισθὸν οὐκ ἔχετε παρὰ τῷ πατρὶ ὑµῶν τῷ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.
Grammar: Verbs of caution such as “beware” take the Greek particle “me” (µὴ) with the infinitive.
Practicing righteousness in order to be noticed by men, for example, performing good deeds and prayers in order to receive the approbation of mankind, will not be rewarded by God because the believer is out of fellowship with God and under the control of his sin nature, and when the believer is under the control of his sin nature, he is functioning under and motivated by some lust, and God does not and will not reward a believer functioning under the lusts of his sin nature. Only the good deeds produced while in fellowship with God and Biblically correct prayers of the believer in fellowship will be rewarded by God the Father.
A Christian motivated by illicit desire (lust) from the sin nature cannot please the Lord. Only a Christian applying God’s word by means of the power of the Holy Spirit (i.e. under the Filling Ministry of the Holy Spirit) can please the Lord. Colossians 3:23 states, “Whatever you do, keep functioning from your own soul as to the Lord, and not to mankind.” If the Christian is motivated by approbation-lust, he is living to please people rather than to please the Lord. On the other hand, when the Christian is in fellowship, there will be times when he will please both the Lord and people. For example, a Christian husband who loves his wife as Christ loves the Church pleases both the Lord and his wife. The Christian is either pleasing the Lord as a servant of the Lord or a slave to the lusts of the sin nature.
Matthew 6:2. “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do [the word “hypocrites” is a reference to the Pharisees and scribes: Matthew 23:13] in the synagogues and in the streets so that they may be honored by men [Matthew 23:5-7]. Truly I say to you they have their reward in full.”
Ὅταν οὖν ποιῇς ἐλεηµοσύνην, µὴ σαλπίσῃς ἔµπροσθέν σου, ὥσπερ οἱ ὑποκριταὶ ποιοῦσιν ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς καὶ ἐν ταῖς ῥύµαις, ὅπως δοξασθῶσιν ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων· ἀµὴν λέγω ὑµῖν, ἀπέχουσιν τὸν µισθὸν αὐτῶν.
Religious people (those persons, both believers and unbelievers alike, who seek the approbation of God outside of God’s plan) are not rewarded by God, but by whatever satisfaction or pseudo happiness they obtain by fulfilling some lust. For example, many Christians spend their entire lives seeking human approbation rather than seeking the approbation of the Lord via the execution of the spiritual life. After helping the poor, they brag to others about their good deeds. They attend prayer meetings or all- night prayer vigils for the sole purpose of being recognized by people as some great saint. Under compulsion, they contribute ten percent of their income to their local church. All this they do in ignorance of the spiritual life. These are religious people involved in religious functions outside of God’s plan, and therefore cannot be rewarded by Him.
Matthew 6:3, 4 “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
σοῦ δὲ ποιοῦντος ἐλεηµοσύνην µὴ γνώτω ἡ ἀριστερά σου τί ποιεῖ ἡ δεξιά σου, 4 ὅπως ᾖ σου ἡ ἐλεηµοσύνη ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ· καὶ ὁ πατήρ σου ὁ βλέπων ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ [αὐτὸς] ἀποδώσει σοι.
Whatever good a believer does is a private matter between him and the Lord. A believer who is living his life to please the Lord will keep it this way if possible. In the ancient world, the right hand represented doing something good while the left hand represented doing something bad or evil. In this idiom, the right hand doing something without the left hand knowing about it represents doing something good or noble with proper motivation. On the other hand, the right hand [doing a right thing] telling the left hand [doing something in a wrong way namely seeking approbation] means that the person is introducing false motivation into the matter.
Giving to the poor may be God’s will for you, or it may not be. Giving to the poor is a good thing if it is God’s will, but keep in mind that a good or right thing must be done in a right way to be right. If giving is done in a right way, then it is rewardable. However, if giving is done in a wrong way, it is wrong and not rewardable. There are even times when giving itself is wrong. For example, if a Christian man gives financially to a church or to a charitable cause while not properly providing for his family, he is committing an evil and is evil. “He is worse than an unbeliever” according to 1st Timothy 5:8b.
Jesus has just attacked the ostentatious public giving of the Pharisees and scribes (Matthew 6:2). Now, he is going to attack their falsely motivated public prayers (Matthew 6:5-8).
Matthew 6:5,6 “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites [Pharisees and scribes] for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen of men [motivated by approbation lust]. Truly I say to you they have their reward in full [human approbation]. 6:6. “But you, when you pray, go into your private room [Jesus places the emphasis on private prayers, not public]; after closing the door [the aorist participle] pray [main verb] to your Father in secret, and your Father who sees [what is accomplished] in secret will reward you.
Καὶ ὅταν προσεύχησθε, οὐκ ἔσεσθε ὡς οἱ ὑποκριταί· ὅτι φιλοῦσιν ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς καὶ ἐν ταῖς γωνίαις τῶν πλατειῶν ἑστῶτες προσεύχεσθαι, ὅπως φανῶσιν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις· ἀµὴν λέγω ὑµῖν, ἀπέχουσιν τὸν µισθὸν αὐτῶν. σὺ δὲ ὅταν προσεύχῃ, εἴσελθε εἰς τὸ ταµεῖόν σου καὶ κλείσας τὴν θύραν σου πρόσευξαι τῷ πατρί σου τῷ ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ· καὶ ὁ πατήρ σου ὁ βλέπων ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ ἀποδώσει σοι.
There is a Greek rule of grammar established by the Greek grammarian Granville Sharp, namely the action of an aorist participle must precede the action of the main verb, regardless of the word order. So, the door must be closed before one begins praying. In this way, your prayers are completely in private. Contrast this with the Pharisees praying in public for all to see.
The emphasis in Scripture is on private prayers though public prayer has a place in the plan of God as well. Many of the great prayers recorded in Scripture were private, for example what should be regarded as the true ‘Lord’s Prayer’ is found in John 17, and other private prayers of Jesus to God the Father as found in Matthew 26:39, 42 at Gethsemane and Luke 23:34 at the place called the Skull. Paul’s private prayers for the Ephesians are mentioned in Ephesians 1:16-19; 3:14-21, and his prayers for the unbelieving Jews in Romans 10:1. The great prayers of Moses are found in Exodus 32:11-13, and in Numbers 14:13-19. Regarding public prayer, Jewish believers fasted and prayed to be delivered from the decree of King Xerxes which prayers were answered (Esther 4:16). On another occasion, the Lord rejected the public prayer of the Jews for deliverance from King Nebuchadnezzar as found in Jeremiah 14:12a, “When they fast, I am not going to listen to their cry [of prayer during their fast]. . . ” Certain members of the Antioch Church conducted public prayer regarding the selection of missionaries and were heard (Acts 13:2, 3). When Peter was imprisoned, the Church fervently prayed for his release. Though they prayed fervently, they did not expect an answer to their prayers, a total lack of faith. Nevertheless, the Lord delivered Peter (Acts 12:5, 13-16). Both the Lord and Paul emphasized private praying (Matthew 6:6, I Thessalonians 5:17, 18).
In the Age of Israel, one could pray to God the Son as per 1 Kings 18:36, “At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah, the prophet came near and said, ‘O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant, and I have done all these things at Your word.’” Even before the Age of Israel, Abraham prayed to his Lord, God the Son as per Genesis 18:23-33. In this chapter, the Lord during his 1st Advent is instructing his disciples to pray to the Father (Matthew 6:6). They did not have to pray through Christ, since the Church Age had not yet commenced. Whereas, in the Church Age, the believer-priest must pray to God the Father through Christ, his high priest. You see, we as priests must pray through our High Priest to God the Father. Hebrews 7:25a, “Therefore, He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God [the Father in prayer] through Him [the Lord Jesus Christ] . . .” John 14:13, “Whatever you ask [the Father] through my person that will I do. . .”) Jesus Christ as our high priest can no longer be the object of prayer, but the channel by which we pray to God the Father.
6:7, 8. “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition [βατταλογεω / battalogeo: as if you are stammering] as the Gentiles [unbelievers] do for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. “So, do not be like [do not imitate] them for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
Προσευχόµενοι δὲ µὴ βατταλογήσητε ὥσπερ οἱ ἐθνικοί, δοκοῦσιν γὰρ ὅτι ἐν τῇ πολυλογίᾳ αὐτῶν εἰσακουσθήσονται. 8 µὴ οὖν ὁµοιωθῆτε αὐτοῖς, οἶδεν γὰρ ὁ πατὴρ ὑµῶν ὧν χρείαν ἔχετε πρὸ τοῦ ὑµᾶς αἰτῆσαι αὐτόν.
The Greek word battalogeo comes from “battos” and “logeo.” “Batos” was the name of the king of Cyrene who stammered. The noun “battos” took on the meaning of “stammerer,” and then the verb “logeo” (to speak) came to be combined with this noun to form the compound “battalogeo” - meaning to speak in a stammer or to use meaningless repetition.
Because God has always known everything, repetition is not necessary when praying to the Father. Religious people like to use repetition like praying ‘10 Hail Marys’ one after another. Though a Christian may know that God is omniscient, he may still use repetitive phrases in prayer as if God the Father was deaf or a slow learner.
6:9. “Pray, then in this manner [verses 9-13: a pattern prayer for the disciples], ‘Our Father who is in heaven; let your person be set apart as holy [perfect integrity].
Οὕτως οὖν προσεύχεσθε ὑµεῖς· Πάτερ ἡµῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς, ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνοµά σου,
Jesus was teaching the disciples how to pray (Matthew 6:5-13). To make it clear to the disciples, it seems that the Lord being omniscient took a future prayer and used it as a pattern in teaching his disciples, a prayer which will be prayed possibly by one of the great Jewish generals defending Jerusalem just before the return of Christ at His Second Advent.
In the Millennium for the first time in history, the Father’s person will be revered. His righteous and just policy and thinking will be implemented by the perfect rule of our Lord Jesus Christ. And since the Word of God will be universally taught in the Millennium most will have great awe and respect for the Father.
6:10. ‘Your kingdom come [the Millennial Kingdom]; let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
ἐλθέτω ἡ βασιλεία σου, γενηθήτω τὸ θέληµά σου, ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς.
In verses 9, 10, there are three aorist passive participles all dealing with the millennial reign of Christ.
1. Let your person be set apart as holy (as righteous and just)
2. Let your kingdom come
3. Let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven
Satan is presently the ruler of the world (John 12:31; 2 Cor. 4:4) and will continue to rule during the Church Age and the Tribulation. Therefore, during these two periods of history the above three aorist participles cannot and will not be fulfilled. These three participles can only be fulfilled in the Millennium. At that time, the Father’s will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.
6:11. ‘Give us [for our benefit: dative of advantage] tomorrow’s bread, today.’
Τὸν ἄρτον ἡµῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον δὸς ἡµῖν σήµερον·
The Greek phrase “ton epiousion semeron” literally means ‘the coming day’ (the next day or tomorrow). Thus, those praying this prayer were asking for their provisions one day in advance. Soldiers many times need to carry the next day’s provisions. So, assuming this is a prayer from a great believer defending Jerusalem in the close of the Tribulation, it would make sense to ask for two days-supply of provisions whereas in the Church Age we are to focus on one day at a time.
6:12. ‘And forgive us our debts [Israel failed in their client nation responsibilities] as [introduces an analogy] we have forgiven our debtors.’
καὶ ἄφες ἡµῖν τὰ ὀφειλήµατα ἡµῶν, ὡς καὶ ἡµεῖς ἀφήκαµεν τοῖς ὀφειλέταις ἡµῶν·
This is not a tit for tat situation for it doesn’t say, “Since we have done these things, do this for us.” It is merely communicating an analogy. If the Jewish believers who are finite and imperfect were able to forgive others in grace, and they did, then logically it follows that infinite and perfect God the Father would forgive them in grace.
Historically, five Jewish client nations failed:
1. The Theocratic kingdom from Moses to Samuel.
2. The United Kingdom from Saul to Rehoboam.
3. The Northern kingdom from Jeroboam to Hoshea.
4. The Southern kingdom from Rehoboam to Zedekiah.
5. Judea, established in the post-exilic period from 516 BC to 70 AD.
God will forgive the Jews of their failures just mentioned above and will restore them at the 2nd Advent and make them the final client nation for the duration of the Millennium.
6:13. ‘And do not bring us into [more] testing [Jerusalem under siege at the end of the Great Tribulation], but deliver us from the evil one [Satan who is always anti-Semitic will mobilized the armies of the world to destroy the Jews at the close of the Tribulation].
καὶ µὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡµᾶς εἰς πειρασµόν, ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡµᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ.
The Jews in Jerusalem will be under maximum pressure just before the Second Advent, and so it appears that some leader will pray for a quick return and deliverance (Christ returns at the 2nd Advent before the 7 years are completed according to Matthew 24:22).
6:14, 15. For if you [disciples] forgive others for their transgressions [they are functioning in fellowship and operating under grace.] your heavenly Father will also forgive you [when you, disciples name your sins]. But if you do not forgive others [because you are justifying your implacability, your hatred, bitterness etc. and so refusing to name your sins], then your Father will not forgive your transgressions [because you refuse to use the recovery procedure as stated in 1 John 1:9].
Ἐὰν γὰρ ἀφῆτε τοῖς ἀνθρώποις τὰ παραπτώµατα αὐτῶν, ἀφήσει καὶ ὑµῖν ὁ πατὴρ ὑµῶν ὁ οὐράνιος· 15 ἐὰν δὲ µὴ ἀφῆτε τοῖς ἀνθρώποις, οὐδὲ ὁ πατὴρ ὑµῶν ἀφήσει τὰ παραπτώµατα ὑµῶν.
If a believer forgives others who are committing sins against him, then he will remain in fellowship with God. However, if that same believer should react with some emotional sin and so refuse to forgive others, then he loses his fellowship with God. In other words, if the believer uses God’s grace system, he will receive the benefits of God’s grace. If on the other hand, the believer enters into legalism, he will suffer the consequences of his self-righteous attitude of refusing to forgive as God forgives.
6:16-18. When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do for they disfigure their faces [as if they are suffering from hunger] to show men that they are fasting. I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full [the approbation of mankind]. But when you fast, put oil on your head [shampoo your hair, apply hair tonic and comb it] and wash your face so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting [this is a private matter between you and God the Father], but only to your Father who is unseen, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
Ὅταν δὲ νηστεύητε, µὴ γίνεσθε ὡς οἱ ὑποκριταὶ σκυθρωποί, ἀφανίζουσιν γὰρ τὰ πρόσωπα αὐτῶν ὅπως φανῶσιν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις νηστεύοντες· ἀµὴν λέγω ὑµῖν, ἀπέχουσιν τὸν µισθὸν αὐτῶν. 17 σὺ δὲ νηστεύων ἄλειψαί σου τὴν κεφαλὴν καὶ τὸ πρόσωπόν σου νίψαι, 18 ὅπως µὴ φανῇς τοῖς ἀνθρώποις νηστεύων ἀλλὰ τῷ πατρί σου τῷ ἐν τῷ κρυφαίῳ· καὶ ὁ πατήρ σου ὁ βλέπων ἐν τῷ κρυφαίῳ ἀποδώσει σοι.
Motivation is important in the spiritual life. When the believer does something to receive the approbation of mankind, he has false motivation. A believer with false motivation is a believer out of fellowship with God. On the other hand, a believer in fellowship seeks the approbation of God. Remember that the spiritual life is right thinking and right motivation, resulting in right decisions and right actions.
Regarding fasting, there is no spiritual value in fasting as such for fasting is merely going without food. (Even the unbelievers fast for a variety of reasons.) However, the believer in fasting increases his ability to concentrate. Furthermore, fasting allows the believer to spend more time in Bible study or prayer since he is able to use the time that is normally spent on preparing for meals and eating (for some people this may be as much as three hours per day) for praying and Bible study. Thus, though there is no spiritual value in fasting (going without food) as such it can be used to gain more time for one’s spiritual life.
6:19-21 Stop storing up for yourselves treasures on earth [a false scale of values] where moth [eats materialistic things] and rust [corrodes] destroys, and where thieves dig through [the walls] and steal, but store up [accumulate] for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal, for where your treasure is [what you consider most important], there your heart [location of the scale of values] will be also.
Μὴ θησαυρίζετε ὑµῖν θησαυροὺς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, ὅπου σὴς καὶ βρῶσις ἀφανίζει, καὶ ὅπου κλέπται διορύσσουσιν καὶ κλέπτουσιν· θησαυρίζετε δὲ ὑµῖν θησαυροὺς ἐν οὐρανῷ, ὅπου οὔτε σὴς οὔτε βρῶσις ἀφανίζει, καὶ ὅπου κλέπται οὐ διορύσσουσιν οὐδὲ κλέπτουσιν· ὅπου γάρ ἐστιν ὁ θησαυρός σου, ἐκεῖ ἔσται καὶ ἡ καρδία σου.
This passage, Matthew 6:19-21 is teaching correct values - spiritual values must have priority over temporal values. What is more important to you? Is completing the spiritual life and gaining eternal rewards more important than seeking the things of this earth and gaining temporal fame and wealth? If so, you will become a great believer. If not, you will be distracted by your concentration on the things of this world.
However, don’t distort the meaning of this passage. It is not suggesting that you should sell your new car and beautiful home or to get rid of your bank account. That would be an idiotic application of this verse. It is merely teaching that the believer must have an eternal focus rather than a temporal earthly one. If you are so busy gaining wealth and so have no time to learn and complete the spiritual life, you have the wrong priorities and values.
6:22. The eye is the lamp of the body [reveals the capacity of the soul through animation or lack of it]. If your eye is unblemished [no mental attitude sins coming through from the soul etc.], your whole body will be animated [from soul capacity],
Ὁ λύχνος τοῦ σώµατός ἐστιν ὁ ὀφθαλµός. ἐὰν οὖν ᾖ ὁ ὀφθαλµός σου ἁπλοῦς, ὅλον τὸ σῶµά σου φωτεινὸν ἔσται·
If there is light in your soul (God’s Word circulating in the stream of consciousness) then that light will shine through the lamp of your eyes because advanced Christians living the spiritual life are animated.
Unblemished cloth is used to illustrate a phenomenal spiritual life. In ancient times, people bought cloth over the counter. Sometimes the merchant selling the cloth would fold it in such a way as to hide the blemishes in the cloth. A blemish would be analogous to a sin or flaw in the soul. Thus, a blemished eye would imply a believer full of mental attitude sins such as anger, hatred, bitterness, jealousy, envy, vindictiveness, guilt etc. (a believer failing in the spiritual life). On the other hand, an unblemished eye reveals the absence of sins, and thus a believer with a great spiritual life.
Matthew 6:23-24 but if your eyes are evil [the soul is demonized through demon influence] your whole body will be full of darkness [he lives in darkness]. If then the light which is [should be] in you [by analogy the eye is a lamp which operates from the light in the soul] is darkness [no light in the soul] how great is the darkness [the soul is full of darkness namely Satanic viewpoint which is transmitted through the eyes and affects the whole person: thinking, motivation, decisions and actions are in sync with Satanic viewpoint]? No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Mammona [the Syrian god of wealth].
ἐὰν δὲ ὁ ὀφθαλµός σου πονηρὸς ᾖ, ὅλον τὸ σῶµά σου σκοτεινὸν ἔσται. εἰ οὖν τὸ φῶς τὸ ἐν σοὶ σκότος ἐστίν, τὸ σκότος πόσον. Οὐδεὶς δύναται δυσὶ κυρίοις δουλεύειν· ἢ γὰρ τὸν ἕνα µισήσει καὶ τὸν ἕτερον ἀγαπήσει, ἢ ἑνὸς ἀνθέξεται καὶ τοῦ ἑτέρου καταφρονήσει· οὐ δύνασθε θεῷ δουλεύειν καὶ µαµωνᾷ.
If we love the temporal things of this world and operate under the lusts of the sin-nature, we will never advance in the Father’s plan. For example, if gaining wealth is the most important thing in life (cupidity), then we cannot serve God. It is a matter of priorities.
6:25: For this reason, I say to you, stop worrying about your physical life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear [God will provide the necessities of life under the concept of ‘logistical grace’]. Is not human life [on this earth] more than food [for the body] and your body [the location of your soul] more than clothes? Yes, of course [the soul should be emphasized over the body].
∆ιὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑµῖν, µὴ µεριµνᾶτε τῇ ψυχῇ ὑµῶν τί φάγητε [ἢ τί πίητε], µηδὲ τῷ σώµατι ὑµῶν τί ἐνδύσησθε· οὐχὶ ἡ ψυχὴ πλεῖόν ἐστιν τῆς τροφῆς καὶ τὸ σῶµα τοῦ ἐνδύµατος;
The soul has an important function in God’s plan for it is the key to the spiritual life of the believer. If the believer has doctrine in his soul, he will know about logistical grace provision, and other doctrines as well such as the Lord decides the place, manner, and the time of our death. Thus, we are not to use the mentality of our soul to worry about a possible shortfall in food or drink or in clothing.
6:26: Look at the birds of the sky; they do not sow or reap or gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Yes, you are.
ἐµβλέψατε εἰς τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ὅτι οὐ σπείρουσιν οὐδὲ θερίζουσιν οὐδὲ συνάγουσιν εἰς ἀποθήκας, καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ὑµῶν ὁ οὐράνιος τρέφει αὐτά· οὐχ ὑµεῖς µᾶλλον διαφέρετε αὐτῶν;
This verse uses a logical thought process called a fortiori, a Latin phrase literally meaning “with greater reason” to produce an inescapable conclusion through comparison. If God provides for the birds (one of the least of His creatures), then with greater reason will he not provide for his royal family (his precious creatures)? If God provides for birds which he does not personally love, will he not provide for the believer whom he personally loves? The inescapable conclusion is “Of course He will.”
So, if a great depression should occur and you should lose your job, and have no means of supporting your family, then you will be in the same position as the birds of the sky. Both you and the birds will be equally unemployed. Now, since God always provides for the unemployed birds whom he loves impersonally, how much more will he provide for you whom he loves personally?
6:27: Which of you by worrying can add a day [a small span of time] to his life span [another meaning: can add 18 inches to his growth]?
τίς δὲ ἐξ ὑµῶν µεριµνῶν δύναται προσθεῖναι ἐπὶ τὴν ἡλικίαν αὐτοῦ πῆχυν ἕνα;
Worry is a mental attitude sin of mental self-torment and anxiety regarding anything in life. It is a disquieting and painful state of mind involving illicit or undue concern over something in life. The painful uneasiness of mind anticipates the worst, and so becomes apprehension in anticipation of danger, misfortune, trouble, disaster, or uncertainty. Worry is a state of restlessness and agitation, producing mental disturbance, uneasiness, foreboding, anxiety, and painful uncertainty.
Worry is a destroyer of the soul's stream of consciousness. If unchecked, it results in mental illness. You get a warning first, often with a physical problem. Worry in the mind is harmful to the body, Proverbs 12:25, "Worry in the heart of a man weighs it down, but a good word produces superabundance of happiness."
The solution to worry is removed by the "good word," which is the unfailing love of God, which produces a superabundance of happiness, Psalm 100:2, "Serve the Lord with superabundance of happiness." As a result of Bible doctrine circulating in the right lobe of the stream of consciousness, the believer advances to the greatest happiness of this life. This happiness is exceedingly abundantly above all we could ever ask or think according to Ephesians 3:20.
You do not have to worry, if you understand the unfailing love of God and have the motivation of reciprocity which is our response to the unfailing love of God. This motivation and the spiritual blessing which comes to the believer who has obtained reciprocal love will easily prevent the temptation to worry.
6:28-30: And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not work nor do they spin [weave cloth]. In fact, I say to you that even Solomon in all of his glory [the best dressed man in his day and possibly in history] did not clothe himself like one of these; in fact if God keeps clothing the common grass of the field, and He does [clothes with flowers] which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace [they shrivel up], will He not much more [pollo mallon] clothe you? O you, of little faith [failure to apply God’s Word]!
καὶ περὶ ἐνδύµατος τί µεριµνᾶτε; καταµάθετε τὰ κρίνα τοῦ ἀγροῦ πῶς αὐξάνουσιν· οὐ κοπιῶσιν οὐδὲ νήθουσιν· 29 λέγω δὲ ὑµῖν ὅτι οὐδὲ Σολοµὼν ἐν πάσῃ τῇ δόξῃ αὐτοῦ περιεβάλετο ὡς ἓν τούτων. 30 εἰ δὲ τὸν χόρτον τοῦ ἀγροῦ σήµερον ὄντα καὶ αὔριον εἰς κλίβανον βαλλόµενον ὁ θεὸς οὕτως ἀµφιέννυσιν, οὐ πολλῷ µᾶλλον ὑµᾶς, ὀλιγόπιστοι;
Again we have the use of “A fortiori” logic but this time with the equivalent Greek expression “pollo mallon” i.e. “with stronger reason”. If God provides for the unimportant lilies the most beautiful of clothes (and he does) it follows with greater reason that He must (since God is rational) provide for his beloved children the necessities of life (and He does). If God clothes the common grass of the field which grass has no relationship with him, then with greater reason God will do much more for the believer. If God can provide for grass, which suffers a lot of pressure and abuse (people walk all over it, dogs urinate on it, and the weather tears it up, dries it out, floods it etc.), can God take care of you? Of course, He can; you are much more important to Him than grass!
The testimony of old age: Psalm 37:25 states, “I [David] have been young and now I am old yet I have never seen the righteous [believers] forsaken nor his seed begging for bread.”
6:31: Therefore, do not worry, thinking [The Greek word “lego” can be translated as thinking if the context warrants it], ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
µὴ οὖν µεριµνήσητε λέγοντες, Τί φάγωµεν; ἤ, Τί πίωµεν; ἤ, Τί περιβαλώµεθα;
6:32: For the gentiles [unbelievers] strive after all of these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things.
πάντα γὰρ ταῦτα τὰ ἔθνη ἐπιζητοῦσιν· οἶδεν γὰρ ὁ πατὴρ ὑµῶν ὁ οὐράνιος ὅτι χρῄζετε τούτων ἁπάντων.
The Lord always provides for believers the necessities of life. The perfect example of this is the Exodus generation. Even though they were an evil generation of believers for the most part, the Lord provided for their needs for 40 years in their wandering in the desert. There is a reason for this, and that reason is that God loves all believers in history (Psalm 33:5) since all believers receive His righteousness at their salvation. Romans 3:22a, “The righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to everyone who believes…”
6:33: But seek first the kingdom [eternal kingdom] and his righteousness [imputed righteousness], and all these things [the necessary provisions in life – logistical grace] will be given to you as well.
ζητεῖτε δὲ πρῶτον τὴν βασιλείαν καὶ τὴν δικαιοσύνην αὐτοῦ, καὶ ταῦτα πάντα προστεθήσεται ὑµῖν.
6:34: Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow has its own worries [Don’t concern yourself with the problems which may occur tomorrow.] Each day has enough evil [trouble] of its own.
µὴ οὖν µεριµνήσητε εἰς τὴν αὔριον, ἡ γὰρ αὔριον µεριµνήσει αὑτῆς· ἀρκετὸν τῇ ἡµέρᾳ ἡ κακία αὐτῆς.
Since God provides for our needs on a daily basis, we are to live one day at a time. God provided manna for the Jews one day at a time in the desert in order that they might learn this concept. (The Lord had commanded them to pick up only enough for one day at a time except on the day before the Sabbath.) Some Jews would not trust in the Lord for their daily provisions and so would gather more than a day’s provision. To their dismay, it would become infested with maggots.
Many people spend so much time focused on the past or future that they cannot live for today. Grace gives you the capacity to live one day at a time so that you are not handicapped by the past or hindered by the future.
One Day at a Time:
1. The advanced believer regards every day as unto the Lord, Romans 14:5,6a, “For, on the one hand, this one [the weak believer] considers one day greater than another day, on the other hand, that one [the mature believer] considers every day alike [as from the Lord]. Let each believer be fully convinced in his own mind [the privacy of priesthood in perception].” (6) He who observes the day [the mature believer], observes it to the Lord…”
2. Psalm 90:12, “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart [a soul] of wisdom.”
3. James 4:13-15. “Come now, you [the apostate believer] who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into this or that city, and shall work in that place for a year and we shall both transact business and make a profit.” (14). Yet you do not even know what kind of life you will have tomorrow. You are just a vapor trail in the sky [a mist, wisp of smoke], visible for a short time and then you vanish [physical death].(15) Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord has willed, we shall both live and do this or that [executing God’s will for our life].”
4. Lamentations 3:22-23, “The Lord’s steadfast love indeed never ceases, for His compassions [anthropopathism for God’s grace in action] never fail. (23) They are new every morning [daily logistical grace provision]. Great is your faithfulness.”
5. Jeremiah 15:16a, “Your words were found, and I ate them [one eats daily]. And your words became to me happiness and the delight of my soul. . .”
6. Matthew 4:4b, “…This man shall not live by bread alone [one eats daily], but by every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God [the Father as the author].”
7. John 11:9-10, “Jesus answered, ‘Are there not twelve hours in a day? If anyone walks in the day [learns doctrine daily], he does not stumble because he sees the light of this world.(10) But if anyone walks in the night [does not learn doctrine], he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”
8. Proverbs 27:1, “Do not boast about tomorrow for you do not know what a day will bring forth.”