Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 28th, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
Matthew 6

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1



V. 1-8

1) "Take Heed that ye do not your alms before men," (peosechete de ten dikaiosunen humon pioein emprosthen ton antheopon) "Then you all take heed, be careful, or be cautious, not to do your righteousness (in alms giving) for display before men;" Do not make an ostentatious show of your self-righteousness (in alms giving) for display before men. Don’t put your righteous externalities on public display for purposes of personal praise. "Take heed," or "Be careful" is an oft repeated warning of Christ.

2) "To be seen of them:" (pros to theathensi autois) ."With a view (desire) to be seen by them," that is, do not let "being seen of men," be the motive of your giving as in Matthew 5:20. Don’t embarass the person or persons of your alms-giving by calling attention to such before the public. Men should see you give alms, or see that you do it, as you "let your light shine," but not for personal praise, Matthew 5:16; Romans 12:8.

3) "Otherwise ye have no reward," (ei de me ge misthon luk echete) "Otherwise (that is if you do) you have not a reward," nothing coming from the Lord, but only the fleeting and empty praises of men, Matthew 10:41-42; John 5:44; John 12:43. Certain ones of the Pharisees loved "the praise of men more than the praise of God."

4) "Of your Father which is in heaven." (para to patri humon to en tois ouranols) "With (to come from) your Father who is in heaven," looking on what you do. He will not reward works selfishly done or for selfish motives, 2 Corinthians 8:12; Daniel 12:3; 1 Corinthians 3:14.

Three Secret Services are to be done for the Lord without desire of outward praise: 1) Alms-giving, Matthew 6:1-4; 2) Praying, Matthew 6:6; 3) Fasting, Matthew 6:17-18.

Verse 2

1) "Therefore when thou doest thine alms," (hotan oun poies eleemosunen) "When therefore you do alms individually," as it is taken for granted that each child of God will do. But do not humiliate or shame him in your method of giving,

2) "Do not sound a trumpet before thee," (me salpises emprosthen sou) "Do not sound a trumpet or make an audacious public announcement before you do it;" Do nothing in giving your alms to the poor that would shame or embarrass them. It is bad enough to be poor, or in need because of some affliction, without being demeaned by having public attention focused on you.

3) "As the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets," (hosper hoi hupokritai poiousin en tais suagogais kai en tais hrumals) "As the hypocrites do (publicly) in the synagogues and in the busy traffic of the streets," loving more the things of the world than things that pertain to God, 1 John 2:15-17.

4) "That they may have glory of men." (hopos doksasthosin hupo ton anthropon) "So that they may be extolled, applauded, or praised of men," for covetous, selfish purposes. Paul expressed the attitude of Christ when he wrote, "God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of Christ," Galatians 6:14; All one does should be to the praise or glory of God, not man, 1 Corinthians 10:31.

5) "Verily I say unto you, they have their reward." (amen lego humin apechousin ton misthon auton) "Surely, I admit to you all that they (then and there) have their reward;" The reward they have sought, "fished for." So many of them "loved the praise of men more than the praise of God," John 12:32. Matthew 6:1 warns "take heed" or be careful about such.

Verse 3

1) "But when thou doest alms," (sou de poiountos eleemosunen) "But when you do alms-giving," or when you are giving alms to someone. It is assumed that every child of God is a charitable and compassionate person who will give to the poor, Luke 11:41.

2) "Let not thy left hand know," (ti poiei he deksai sou) "Do not let your left hand even know," by an outward display of glory or praise-seeking-flare, Matthew 8:4; Matthew 19:21; Luke 12:33.

3) "What thy right hand doeth,” (ti poiei he deksai sou) "What your right-hand does," in this matter, Acts 10:2. Modesty is a needed, even necessary, virtue in scriptural alms-giving. Let it be done in privacy, in modesty, without any covetous merit of praise.

Verse 4

1) "That thine alms may be in secret:" (hopos he sou he eleemosune en to krupto) "So that your alms that you give may be kept discreetly secret," so as not to embarrass the alms-receiver. It is humiliating to be in distress or impoverished without having loud attention called to it.

2) "And thy Father which seeth in secret himself," (kai ho pater sou ho blepon en to keupto) "And your Father who in secret beholds," sees all things that are done by you. He Himself is in secret, acts in secret, and approves things done in secret when they are good, and come from a right motive, that is, are done for the glory of God, 1 Corinthians 10:31.

3) "Shall reward thee openly." (apodosei so!) "He will give back to you or reward you openly," as pledged by the Lord Luke 6:38; He shall acknowledge your good deeds at the right time, Matthew 25:34-40. Men who give are men who prosper, in this world and the world that is to come. When the giving is of the right motive, to glorify God, Matthew 6:19-21; Proverbs 11:25.

Verse 5

1) "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are" (kai hoton proseuchesthe hos hoi hupokritai) "And when you all pray, do not be like the hypocrites:" When you ask earnestly, sincerely, Jeremiah 29:12-13.

2) "For they love to pray," (hoti philousin proseuchesthai) "Because they just love to pray," take pride or glory in ostentatious public prayers, John 12:43.

3) "Standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets," (en tais goniais ton plateion hestotes) "Standing in the corners or intersections of the open streets," (en tais sunagogais kai) "And in the public synagogues," Matthew 6:2. Their posture was aright but their motive was wrong; Matthew 14:23; 2 Kings 4:33.

4) "That they may be seen of men." (hopos phanosin tois anthropois) "So that they may shine to, toward, or before men," or may make a big showing appearance or display of their charity and piety before men.

5) "Verily I say unto you, they have their reward." (amen lego humin apechousin ton misthon auton) "Truly I assure you that they have, or at that point possess, their reward," which is the "praise of men," John 12:43.

Verse 6

1) "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet," (su de hotan proseuche eiselthe eis to tamieion sou) "But when each of you prays, enter into your private room," a secret or private place, as in Isaiah 26:20; Daniel 6:10; Matthew 23:5-7; Matthew 23:14.

2) "And when thou hast shut thy door," (kai kleisas ten thuran sou) "And when you have closed the door," for prayer that is private and secret in nature, without public show, Mr 12:38-40. When you have gone aside to a place of retirement, away from temptations for sham and show, there pray.

3) "Pray to thy Father which is in secret;" (proseuksai to patri sou to en to krupto) "Pray directly, personally, or intimately to your Father in secret," to Him alone, Matthew 6:4; John 16:24. It is the retiring character of true prayer that is taught here.

4) "And thy Father which seeth in secret," (kai ho pater sou ho blepon en to krupto) "And your Father who continually sees in secret," who is looking on, Luke 14:12. Prayer is not a display of devotional talent or personal piety, but a private expression of affection and desire between the creature and his Creator.

5) "Will reward thee openly." (apolosel soi) "He will reward, repay, or give back to you openly," in a visible, clear, evident manner, whatever your need may be, Philippians 4:17-19; 2 Timothy 1:16-18. 1) Isaac’s closet was an open field, Genesis 24:63; 2) David’s closet was a bedchamber, Psalms 4:4; 3) Our Lord’s closet was in a mountain alone, Matthew 14:23; 4) Peter’s closet was on a housetop, Acts 10:9; 5) Hezekiah’s closet was in a sick-bed with his face to the wall, 2 Kings 20:2.

Verse 7

1) "But when ye pray use not vain repetitions," (proseuchomenci de me battalogesete) "Yet while you are praying do not utter empty words," vainly, idiotically, repeating the same thing as if God were deaf, dumb, or slow hearing what you have to say. Such is called "tautology," meaningless babble, for which account must be given, Matthew 12:36.

2) "As the heathen do:" (hosper hoi ethnikoi) "As the Gentiles or heathen do," as illustrated by the babbling, repeated idle, empty prayers of Baal’s heathen false prophets, 1 Kings 18:26-29; Acts 19:34. Repeated muttering of the same syllables, sounds, or words was a form of pagan worship.

3) "For they think that they shall be heard," (dokousin gar hoti eisakousthesontai) "Because they think or have the notion that they will be heard;" It is vain repeatedly to pray for something that is not in the will of the Lord. Paul did it regarding a "thorn in the flesh," 2 Corinthians 12:8-9. When he recognized the will of the Lord, after his third intercession to God on the matter, like Jesus in Gethsemane, he accepted it.

4) "For their much speaking." (en te polulogia auton) "In their multitude of rambling incoherency," or in their mass verbosity, their stretched out prayers. But multiplied words earnestly uttered, repeatedly uttered, coming from wrong motives, constitute vain repetition and vain praying. When Jesus had prayed three times regarding His coming suffering, He was then strengthened to endure, not avoid, the cross and its shame, Matthew 26:39-44; Hebrews 12:1-2. Pagans thought that by long prayers they would weary their gods into granting their requests.

Verse 8

1) "Be not therefore like Unto them," (me oun homoiothete autois) "Therefore you all do not become or exist in your religious behavior like them," like the heathen-acting Pharisees who were publicly pious but privately pernicious, wicked, even thieves who absconded widows of their estates, after enticing their confidence through long, pious prayers, Mr 12:40.

2) "For your Father knoweth," (oiden gar (ho theos) ho pater humon) "For God who is your Father knows," perceives or comprehends, your condition and needs and is concerned with their supply, giving to all life, breath, and all things through His daily mercies, La 3:22,23; Acts 17:28.

3) "What things ye have need of," (hon chreian echete) "What things you have a need of or for," Philippians 4:19; Daniel 2:19-23. Though God knows our needs, He desires that we express them to Him, for things worth having or receiving as gifts, are worth asking for. With this thought in mind, our Lord proceeded to give the model or exemplary prayer, Matthew 6:9.

4) "Before ye ask him." (pro tou humas authesai auton) "Before you ever begin to ask him," Luke 18:1; When man seeks first, as a first priority, the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all these things are Divinely committed to him, sufficient to meet every need, Matthew 6:33; 1 John 3:22.

Verse 9



V. 9-15

1) "After this manner therefore pray ye:" (houtos oun proseuchesthe humeis) "Therefore you all are to pray habitually, in this manner," in a style, concise, comprehensive, to the point of honoring God, and helping men, Luke 11:1-4; John 16:24; Jude 6:18; Ephesians 6:18.

2) "Our Father which art in heaven," (pater hemon ho en tois ouranois) "Our Father, thou the one in heaven;" Note it is to be "our" Father, not "mine" alone, Jeremiah 31:11; Ephesians 3:15; Hebrews 12:9; Matthew 5:9; Matthew 5:16. Heaven is an high place, an holy place, an exalted place of purity and glory, to be held in reverence.

3) "Hallowed be thy name." (hagiastheto to onoma sou) "Let your name be hallowed," above even the name of thy son, whom you gave a "name above every name," Philippians 2:9-10; Isaiah 45:23; Revelation 5:13. Hallowed means "sanctified" as Deity and Divinity, to be worshiped, Exodus 20:1-3. A good name can be received only through faith in the name of Jesus, Acts 4:12.

Verse 10

1) "Thy kingdom come." (elthato he basileia sou) "Let your kingdom come," come to be, to exist, that kingdom so often spoken of in the prophetic Scriptures, Psalms 2:8; Daniel 7:27; Revelation 11:15; Revelation 19:6. See also Matthew 11:27-30; Luke 1:31-33; 1 Corinthians 15:24.

2) "Thy will be done," (genetheto to thelema sou) "Let your will come to be or to exist," as our will is subordinated that we may be and do what pleases you, John 7:17; Eph 5,17; 2 Corinthians 8:12: Romans 12:2; Ephesians 6:6; 1 Thessalonians 4:3.

3) "In earth as it is in heaven." (hos en ouranon kai epi ges) "Upon earth as also it exists in heaven,"in thought, feeling, speech, and action: Let there exist a fraternal harmony and obedience to thee among men on earth, as it exists among the redeemed in heaven, and among angels that have never sinned, Psalms 103:20-22. Matthew 6:9-10 includes three petitions, strong desires, that every child of God should repeatedly seek from the Lord, regarding 1) His hallowed name, 2) His coming Kingdom, and 3) that His will be done now.

Verse 11

1) "Give us this day," (dos henin semeron) "Dole out to us today," this day, one day at a time, to keep soul and body together. This model prayer teaches that daily dependence on God is important, 1 Timothy 6:8; Proverbs 30:8-9; Psalms 34:10; Job 23:12; John 4:34.

2) "Our daily bread." (ton arton hemon ton epiousion) "The daily bread of us, of our need," as God gave to Israel daily manna during her forty years of wilderness wandering, as day by day except on the Sabbath, Exodus 16:15; Exodus 16:26; Exodus 16:35-36, the manna fell. Neither the poor nor the rich, learned or unlearned, may have hunger satisfied without bread, but bread satisfies hunger like no other food, so it is with Jesus the bread of life, John 6:31-35; John 6:50-51; John 6:58.

Verse 12

1) "And forgive us our debts," (kai aphes hemin ta opheilemata hemon) "and forgive or bear away from us our debts;" Mark through the ledger, the charge account now held against us. Those sins held or charged against us, Lord, forgive, remit or pardon our sins," Ephesians 1:7; Isaiah 55:7.

2) "As we forgive our debtors," (hos kai hemeis aphekamen tols opheitetals hemon) "As also we forgave our debtors," those who have done us unjustly or done us injury, as well as those who hold unjust attitudes toward us, 1 John 1:9; "as far as the east is from the west," Psalms 103:12 and even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you, Ephesians 4:32.

Verse 13

1) "And lead us, not into temptation," (kai me eisenegkes humas eis peirasmon) "And bring us not into temptation;" God is said in the Scriptures to do whatever He permits to be done. Bring or lead us not by course of Providence, by unloosing the tempter, or demon spirits against us, or by leaving us to ourselves for inducement into sin, Matthew 16:11; 2 Peter 2:9; James 1:14; Revelation 3:10.

2) "But deliver us from evil:" (alla hrusai hemas apo tou ponerou) "But rescue us from the ways and power of wickedness," 2 Thessalonians 3:3; 1 Corinthians 10:13. Temptation is enticement to sin. Evil refers to The Evil one, the root, branch, and fruit of wickedness, John 17:15; Revelation 2:10.

3) "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." (omitted from the older manuscripts) This expresses the same spirit of Matthew 6:10, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done," in and through us, as it is in heaven, and will be in fullness in the coming millennial and heaven of heavens ages, Luke 1:32-33; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Revelation 22:5.

Verse 14

1) "For if ye forgive men their trespasses,” (qan garophete tois anthropois ta paraptomata auton) “For if you all forgive men of their trespasses," the wrongs, ills and injuries that they have done to you, including anger, envy, malice, and old grudges, Ephesians 5:30-32; John 13:12-15.

2) "Your heavenly Father will also forgive. you:" (aphesei kai humin ho pater humon ho ouranios) "Your Father who is (exists) in heaven, will also forgive or pardon you," of your sins, trespasses, or deeds of wrong toward Him, Colossians 2:12-13. Those who are merciful to forgive also receive God’s mercy and forgiveness, Galatians 6:1; Matthew 6:12.

Verse 15

1) "But If ye forgive not men their trespasses," (ean de me aphete tois anthropois) "However, if you all do not forgive or pardon men," who do you wrong, or who have done you injury or wrong, as the Lord has instructed, Matthew 18:21-35; James 2:13; Mr 11:24. Pride often hinders confession of sins and forgiveness in the life of a carnal covetous child of God. Where no forgiveness is offered others, none can be received from God.

2) "Neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (oude ho pater humon aphesei ta paraptomata humon) "Neither will your Father (the heavenly one) forgive or pardon you of your trespasses or deeds of wrong;" For a child of God to hold an obstinate, unforgiving spirit against any person, obstructs, stands in the way of, or debars God’s forgiving that person of sins he has committed, or yet holds in his own heart and life, Matthew 18:34-35; Mr 11:25.


A great boy in a school was so abusive to the younger ones, that the teacher took the vote of the school whether he should be expelled. All the small boys voted to expel him, except one, who was scarcely 5 years old. Yet he knew very well that the bad boy would probably continue to abuse him. "Why, then, did you vote for him to stay?" said the teacher. "Because if he is expelled, perhaps he will not learn any more about God, and so he will be more wicked still." "Do you forgive him, then?" said the teacher. "Yes," said he; "Papa and mamma, and you, all forgive me when I do wrong; God forgives me, too, and I must do the same."


V. 16-18

Verse 16

1) "Moreover when ye fast," (hotan de nesteuete) "Then when you all fast," a practice, temporary practice, of going without food and water. Such was not by Divine command, but adopted is 1) An expression of grief for sin, and 2) As an help to devotions. Only one fast was enjoined by Moses, Leviticus 16:29; Leviticus 23:27-32. To this the Jews traditionally added Special public fasts, Jud 20:26; and private fasts observed by David, 2 Samuel 12:16; 2 Samuel 12:20. By Daniel, Daniel 9:3; and by Cornelius, Acts 10:30.

2) "Be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance:" (me ginesthe hos hoi hupokritai skuthropoi) "Do not be of your own accord gloomy, in appearance," pious and doleful in outward appearance, but hypocritical, snake­hearted in your motives as expressed, Isaiah 58:3-11. Let your fasting be from devout motives, such as existed at the ordination and sending of Paul and Barnabas by the church at Antioch, Acts 13:2.

3) "For they disfigure their faces," (aphanizousin gar ta prosopa auton) "Because they (the hypocrites) deliberately disfigure their faces," by neglecting to wash, shave, and anoint themselves. They put on "artificial gloom," or a sad appearance, that was a feigned pretence. It was a sloven appearance with ashes on their head.

4) "They may appear unto me to fast." (hopos phanosin tois anthropois nesteuontes) "So that they may appear to men to be fasting," so that they make a public show or display of their fasting, as if near starving themselves seeking a reputation of piety. Some in Christiandom still feign a similar piety at certain religious feasts and seasons in Catholicism and Protestantism.

5) "Verily I say unto you, they have their reward." (amen lego humin apechousin ton misthon auton) "I tell you all truly (certainly) they have (or receive at that point) their reward," which is the attention, praise, or plaudits of men, which many loved more than the praise of God, John 12:43; This too was Balsam’s error, the love of popularity and applause, Judges 1:11. Nothing but condemnation comes from God in response to hypocrisy, Job 36:13; Matthew 15:7-9; Mr 7:6-13.

Verse 17

1) "But thou, when thou fastest," (su de nesteuon) "But when you fast," personally, as individuals, privately as you are instructed to do, in private prayer, Matthew 6:6; Matthew 6:16.

2) "Anoint thine head," (aleipsai sou ten kephalen) "Anoint your head," clean your head, comb or brush your hair," appear clean before the public, to avoid the hypocritical parading of feigned grief and devotions that the Pharisees sought to convey.

3) "And wash thy face;" (kai to prosopon sou nipsai) "And wash your face," that it may appear fresh and clean, not a besmeared appearance of piety before the public at a fixed time, as the Pharisee hypocrites did. The Jews anointed their head and washed their face daily, except when mourning, Daniel 10:3. So the meaning is that followers of Jesus should appear as usual, before the public, so as to attract no special attention to themselves as some cheap, sham religious actor.

Verse 18

1) "That thou appear not unto men to fast," (hopos me phanes tois anthropois nesteuon) "So that you do not personally and individually appear to men to fast," to make a bill-board advertising that you are a fasting, devout person.

2) "But unto thy Father which is in secret;" (alla to patri sou to en tokruphaio) "Appear to fast to your Father who is in secret," beholding the evil and the good. If you fast, or when you fast, avoid calling attention to it, if it is done for devotional purposes.

3) "And thy Father which seeth in secret," (kai ho pater sou ho blepon en to kruphaio) "And your Father who sees (is observing) in secret," shadowed from man’s physical vision, keeping watch over His own, 1 Corinthians 3:8.

4) "Shall reward thee openly." (apodosei soi) "He will repay, dole out to you," personally and individually, based on the motives, earnestness, and faith of your fasting and your prayers, will openly reward you before the Father and angels and the redeemed.

Regarding such Philippians 4:5 reads "Let your (forbearance) or moderation be known to all men. The Lord is at hand," or the Lord is looking on, and will not overlook either motives or deeds, good or bad, when the hour of blessing or reward comes.


Verse 19

1) "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth," (me thesaurizete humin thesaurous epi tes ges) "Do not treasure up for yourselves (for your selfish use only) treasures upon earth," do not grasp and hoard with selfish, covetous greed, that which is the root or "root-cause" of all evil, 1 Timothy 6:10; 1 Timothy 6:17-19. "Treasures" means anything that may be stored or hoarded, Psalms 135:7; Proverbs 23:4-5; Proverbs 28:20; Proverbs 28:22.

2) "Where moth and rust doth corrupt," (hopou ses kai brosis apanizei) "Where moth and rust eat away, corrupt, or removes;" A moth is an insect that gnaws on and eats holes in clothes. Almost overnight they may eat a suit of clothes to shreds, rending it so that it is unfit to wear. Rust is a metal corroding agency that eats away a metal vessel or instrument, weakening or rendering it useless, Psalms 39:6; Psalms 62:10.

3) "And where thieves break through and steal:" (kai hopou kleptai diorussousin kai kleptousin) "And where thieves dig through and steal." When ancient houses were made of mud, dried dirt, the thief often marked by day the part of the house through which he would dig in the night to steal and plunder what he had his heart set on, Job 24:15-16; Matthew 24:43.

Earthly things are all deteriorating, polluted, and polluting, corroding and corroded things, in which eternal values cannot be stored.

Verse 20

1) "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven," (theasourizete de humin thesaurous en ourano) "But (instead) treasure up for yourselves treasures in heaven;" Lay up valuable things in safe keeping in heaven where Jesus is and Michael’s angels keep guard, 1 Timothy 6:19. Lay up things that relate to eternal life, enduring, uncorroding, incorruptible things through good will and good deeds done to the glory of God, 1 Corinthians 10:31; Philippians 4:8; Revelation 22:12.

2) "Where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt," (hopou oute ses oute brosis aphanizei) "Where neither moth nor rust at all removes, takes away, or corrupts," for neither rust nor moth exists there where all is holy and clean, Revelation 22:15.

3) "And where thieves do not break through nor steal," (kai hopou kleptai ou diorussousin oude kleptousin) "And in a place where thieves (kleptomaniacs) do not dig through (break in) and steal," for they do not enter there, Hebrews 12:14; Revelation 21:27.

Verse 21

1) "For where your treasure is," (hopou gar estin ho thusouros sou) "Because where your personal treasure is located, " Colossians 3:1-3. To lay up treasure seems to be to lay up fruits of your labor of such nature as are recorded in heaven, such as soul-winning and soul building in Divine virtues, 2 Peter 1:4-11; Revelation 22:12.

2) "There will your heart be also." (ekei estai kai he kardia sou) "Out there (at that place) will your heart or personal affections also be," located, exist, Luke 12:34. What kind of things have first place or priority in the motives of your life? Are things being sought, pursued, accumulated for self -gratification, or for the glory of God? This is the real test of love. To be industrious, accumulate things by wise investment and honest labor is not evil, but to do it with priority commitment for a life of ease and self-pleasure is, 2 Corinthians 12:14; 1 Corinthians 10:31.

Verse 22

1) "The light of the body is the eye:" (ho lechnos tou somaos estin ho ophthalmos) "The lamp (light media) of the body (the physical body) is the eye:" It is the only instrument of vision for the whole body. Vision of the body is through the eye, Proverbs 29:18.

2) "If therefore thine eye be single," (ean oun e ho ophthalmos sou haplous) "if therefore your individual eye (or sight) be single," be unhampered from doing its normal function, that is, not obstructed by disease in the body, or harmfully affected by disease from some other part of the body system, circulatory or nerve system, etc.

3) "Thy whole body shall be full of light." (holon to soma sou photeirion estai) "All your body will be shining," have light to move by. Yet, the function of the eye is dependent upon sound physical health for the whole body. The unity of thought, from the previous illustration, indicates that our Lord is alluding to or referring to the motives of life. Corrupting, covetous, selfish, self-gratifying desires and deeds of the body affect and influence eyesight, so do motives of heart influence vision of the eye, for the whole body of individuals and the vision of a church body.

It is a grave thought that both individuals and church bodies may obstruct or hinder the shining or reflection of the light that is in them, Matthew 5:15-16; John 8:12.

Verse 23

1) "But if thine eye be evil," (ean de ho ophtalmos sou poneros he) "Then if your eye or personal vision be, come to be, or come to a state of evil, a degenerated condition, "If the motives of what the eye signifies (the heart or center of affections) is wicked, degenerate, or evil, as that of the Laodicean church had become; Blinded by an attitude of self-sufficiency, she was called to repent, Revelation 3:14-19.

2) "Thy whole body shall be full of darkness." (holon to soma aou skoteinon estai) "All your body will be dark," in darkness as it relates to light, sight, or vision. In like manner if it, the motives, affections, or center of the will (the heart) exists in a selfish, covetous, self-serving attitude, the whole body will be in a state of spiritual darkness, unfruitful, unproductive. When one’s spiritual eye is astigmatized, blinded, and he can not see afar off, he becomes unfruitful, 2 Peter 1:4-11.

3) "If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness,” (ei oun to phos to en soi skotos estin) "Therefore if the light that (is) in you is (exists as) darkness," or comes to be displaced by darkness, unfruitfulness, unproductive, as either an individual or as a church. If an individual or a church loses sight (a vision) of a lost world, and the need of bearing the gospel to it, darkness falls there! Proverbs 29:18.

4) "How great is that darkness” (to skotos poson) "0 how great that darkness does exist!" Read Amos 8:11-13.

The Lord counseled the lukewarm Laodicean church, "Anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see," Revelation 3:18. This simply indicates that one may contract the "sore eyes", restricted vision, in spiritual things, that leads to blindness regarding spiritual matters., because of being rich in this world’s goods, saying, "I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing, and knowest not that thou art blind?" etc. Revelation 3:17. Failure to add certain Christian virtues to ones life in Christ leads to a loss, or near loss, of eye sight or vision, 2 Peter 1:9; 1 John 2:9-11. The pious Pharisees were pointed examples of darkness, where no vision was, Matthew 6:2; Matthew 6:7; Matthew 6:16.

Verse 24

1) "No man can serve two masters:" (oudeis dunatal dusi kuriois douleuein) "No one is able to serve two lords," at one time, two different lords, or masters. As well try ride two horses or vehicles at the same time, going in opposite directions, as to try to wholly serve two differing diametrically opposed lords or masters at the same time, Luke 16:13; Revelation 3:15-16.

2) "For either he will hate the one," (le gar ton hena misesei) "Because he will either hate the one," take one lightly, treat one lord lightly. One cannot, as a servant, be 100% owned by two masters. Since the redeemed body and soul belong to Jesus Christ, they therefore owe life serving allegiance to Him, 1 Corinthians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

3) "And love the other" (kai ton heteron agapesei) "And he will love the other Lord," of a different kind. If one loves the world, as first priority of affections, "the love of the Father does not exist in him," 1 John 2:15-17.

4) "Or else he will hold to the one," (e henos antheksetai) "Or he will hold or cling to one," one Lord. When one chooses the world order, he is identified as an "enemy" of God, James 4:4.

5) "And despise the other." (kai tou heteron agapesei) "And he will despise the other Lord," the other Lord of a different nature and character of being. They will treat him lightly or frivolously, 1 Timothy 6:10; 1 Timothy 6:17-19; Romans 6:16.

6) "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (ou dunasthe theo douleuein kai mammona) "You all (simply) are not able, repeatedly and continuously, to serve (both) God and mammon," Luke 16:13; Joshua called all Israel to make a commitment to serve one, God by choice, or Baal, Joshua 24:15. Men still have this choice that confronts them in spiritual matters today. The lesson is one can not be loyal to God and make earthly riches his master or idol.


Verse 25

1) "Therefore I say unto you," (dia touto lego humin) Therefore I instruct you all;" In the light of what has been said, about the vanity of laying up riches and making an idol or mammon of materialism, since pursuit of such is hypocrisy, leads to perpetual astigmatism, (blindness) - or delimited vision of spiritual things, Matthew 6:19-24.

2) "Take no thought for your life," (me merimnate te psuche humon) "Do not be anxious for your life, Matthew 6:31, all the time caring or concerned about material provisions to the point of distracting your mind from God, the Giver and sustainer of life, in whose Grace and mercies we live, move, and have our daily being, La 3:22, 23; Acts 17:28. Do not be emotionally distraught or upset about food, raiment, and shelter, the three necessities of life, 1 Samuel 9:5; Philippians 4:6.

3) "What ye shall eat or what ye shall drink:" (ti phagete he ti piete) "What you may eat or what you may drink," though both are day by day needs. For "casting all our cares upon Him," He cares for us; He has pledged to supply every daily need. Faith in God and His Word should drive anxious cares from any controlling dominance of the believer’s life, 1 Peter 5:7; Hebrews 13:5-6.

4) "Nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on." (mede to somati humon ti endusesthe) "Nor for your body what you may wear or put on," though clothes are necessary, they can not be secured by anxiety or distrust in the Lord, Luke 12:27-29. If God gives life and breath and salvation, will He withhold food?

5) "Is not the life more than meat," (ouchi he psuche pleion estin ts trophes) "Is not the life (that you have) more than food," or the life is more than food, isn’t it? This is in the nature of a rhetoric question, suggesting a yes or affirmative answer.

6) "And the body than raiment?" (kai to soma endumatos) "And is not the body that you have more than the raiment?" or the clothes that you wear? Life is more than just what you wear as clothes, isn’t it? is the idea conveyed. The life, body, spirit and soul belong to the Lord and He will surely take care of His own servants, His own property, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Psalms 37:25.

Verse 26

1) "Behold the fowls of the air" (eublepsate eis ta peteina tou ouranou) "You all take a look at the birds of heaven," the fowls that fly in the air, even above the clouds. Take them as an object lesson of His care for His own things, Psalms 24:1. Observe the fowls to learn a lesson from them.

2) "For they sow not," (hoti ou speirousin) "Note that they sow not," as men sow to help provide production of their food.

3) "Neither do they reap, nor gather into barns;" (oude therizousin oude sunagousin eis apothekas) "They neither reap nor do they gather (store) into barns," do they?

4) "Yet your heavenly Father feedeth them." (kai ho pater humon ho ouranios trephei, auta) "And your heavenly Father feeds them," doesn’t He? Will He then leave you, who are dearer to Him than fowls, to starve and to die?

5) "Are ye not much better than they?" (ouch humeis mallon diapherete auton) "Do you all not excel them in value?" or you all excel the birds in value, don’t you? John 3:16; Philippians 4:19.

Verse 27

1) "Which of you by taking thought," (tis de eks humon merimnon) "Then who of you all (by) being anxious," overanxious or concerned, Luke 12:25-26. So much worry and anxiety over material things constitute sin against God. Luke 17:5, reads, "Lord increase our faith," 0 that men would ask to have their needs supplied, Matthew 7:8; Luke 11:10.

2) "Can add one cubit unto his stature." (dunatai prostheinai epi ten helikian autou pechun hena) "is able to add even one cubit to his stature?" None could do it. Nor can one add a step to his life’s journey by worrying or being over-anxious about food, raiment, and shelter. The vanity of worry or over anxiety about material needs in here chided, Proverbs 3:3-5.

Verse 28

1) "And why take ye thought for raiment?" (kai peri endumatos ti merimnate) "And concerning clothing, why be anxious, or in a state of anxiety?" Did anxious care or worry ever put clothes on anyone’s back?

2) "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow." (katamathete ta krina tou afrou pos auksanousin) "You all consider the lilies of the field, how they grow," Without seeming to be overanxious or having a care, Observe their beauty, their abundance and their pleasant appearance. They are observed almost as if they were individual friends.

3) "They toll not, neither do they spin" (ou kopiosin oude nethousin) ,They neither labor nor spin," to have food or clothing or shelter, do they? That is they do not toll as men do, planting and harvesting and spinning flax do they? With illustrations of natural phenomena, of nature around them, our Lord held the hearer’s rapt attention, as in Matthew 7:29; Mr 1:22.

Verse 29

1) "And yet I say unto you," (lego de humin) "Yet I tell you," in simple language that you know what I am saying,

2) "That Solomon In all his glory," (hoti oude Solomon en pase te dokse autou) "That Solomon in the midst of all his glory," or without all his glory of accumulated riches, of gold, Over, horses, cattle, camel, wives, concubines, servants, buildings, and pools, and while wearing his royal robes, 1 Kings 7:19-46; So 2:16; 4:5; 6:2,3; 1 Kings 10:1 to 1 Kings 13:34; 2 Chronicles 9:1-28; Luke 12:27.

3) "Was not arrayed like one of these." (periebaleto hos en touton) "Was not clothed (in beauty or glory) as even one of those," one of these field lilies in Galilee, which has no appearance of anxiety or worry. Yet, they spring up, bloom, and offer their smile of, beauty to all nature repeatedly, in their season, in more gorgeous attire than Solomon and all his retinue of princes and princesses in their magnificent attire.

Verse 30

1) "Wherefore, If God so clothe the great of the field, which today is," (ei de ton chorton tou agrou semeron onta) "in the light of this, If the grass of the field that exists today," (ho theos houtos amphiennusin) "God clothes in this glorious appearance," above the royal splendor, attire, or array, in beauty and numbers, which is, exists, or you all observe, to take a lesson from what you see here and He does.

2) "And to marrow Is cast Into the oven," (kai aurion eis klibanon ballomenon) "And by tomorrow the same grass is already thrown into the oven," so temporary it is when cut, with the lilies, to clear the fields for planting wheat, barley, flax, etc., James 1:10-11. Dried grass was used as fodder in ovens for cooking -- with the cutting of the grass went the lilies also.

3) "Shall he not much more clothe you," (ou pollo mallon humas) "Are you all not of much more," much more importance? than grass and lilies of the field? Rhetorically put it is: "You all, bearing God’s image, are more important in the sight of God than lilies and grass, aren’t you?" Acts 17:28; Hebrews 13:5; Philippians 4:19.

4) "0 ye of little faith?" (o ligopistoi) "Are you all not of little faith?" or "you all are of little faith, are you not?" The expression (Gk. Oligopistoi) means "little faithed ones," as in Matthew 8:26; Matthew 14:31; Matthew 16:8. In this, He greatly, kindly chided the spirit of unbelief.

Verse 31

1) "Therefore take no thought, saying," (me oun merimnesethe legontes) "Therefore you all avoid being overanxious, repeatedly asking," to yourselves and one to another, since God cares for, is concerned for, even the least of His creatures.

2) "What shall we eat?" (ti phagomen) "What may we eat or have to eat?" Luke 12:29; 1 Corinthians 3:22; Philippians 4:19.

3) "Or what shall we drink?" (he ti piomen) "Or what may we drink, or have to drink?" by tomorrow, what will we have to drink, if we follow you, do your bidding, as challenged, Matthew 4:19-20; Matthew 4:22; Luke 9:23-26.

4) "Or wherewithal shall we be clothed?” (e ti peribalometha) "Or what may we put on to wear?" From what work or source of supply may we have the physical things by which we can survive, even tomorrow? Do not be in a frustrated state about such things, if you really believe God, Psalms 37:25.

Verse 32

1) "(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:)” (panta gar tauta ta ethne epizetousin) "Because the nations (Gentiles) or heathen seek after all these kind of things;" They are interested in and selfishly covet after earthly things alone, for their own good, John 2:15-17. Gentiles, heathen, pagans, and idolators pursue such.

2) "For your heavenly Father knoweth," (oiden gar ho pater humon ho ouranois) "Because your heavenly Father perceives," knows very well, and will supply these needs for you all; for His own children He makes provisions, because of His knowledge of their need and His love for them. Acts 17:28.

3) "That ye have need of all these things." (hoti crezete touton hapanton) "That you all have need of all these things," these kind of things, Matthew 6:8; Exodus 3:7; Deuteronomy 2:7; Psalms 103:13-14; Mr 6:38-42; Matthew 11:27.

Verse 33

1) "But seek ye first the kingdom of God," (zeteite de proton ten basileian kai ten dikaisousnen autou) "Then you all seek first (in priority) his kingdom and righteousness," Romans 14:17-18. The kingdom of God differs from "the kingdom of heaven," in that the latter refers restrictedly to His New Covenant church, and the former refers to all that is under God’s jurisdiction or domain.

2) "And his righteousness," (kai ten dikaiosunen autou) "And his righteousness," the righteousness of God, things that are morally and ethically right in His sight or presence; For the saved and unsaved, parents and children, all responsible human beings, such as was required even under the Law of Moses.

3) "And all these things shall be added unto you." (kai tauta panta prostethesetai humin) "And all these (kind of) things shall be added to you all," your food, your drink, your clothing and your shelter, the necessary things of life for living, moving, and having or holding your existence, Acts 17:28; Hebrews 13:5; Philippians 4:19.

The "ye" of this verse refers to the new called company of disciples, the church body; It is the light of the world "ye" and salt of the earth "ye", to whom He was speaking specifically; They were to trust wholly in God to supply their needs, as they sought to do His work, as an executive body and example of His righteousness now on earth, Matthew 5:1-2; Matthew 5:13-14; Matthew 5:20; Matthew 16:18; Matthew 18:15-17; The "ye" of the Sermon on the Mount was the "chosen ye" whom Jesus had called from among the Gentiles, to be His witnesses and witnessing agency, was His church, a New Covenant company to which He committed His work and worship-services of this age, John 15:16; John 15:26; Acts 1:22; Acts 10:37; Acts 15:13-15; John 20:21; Matthew 28:18-20; Mr 16:15; Ephesians 3:21.

Verse 34

1) "Take therefore no thought for the morrow:" (me oun rherimnesete els ten aution) "Therefore you all do not be anxious for tomorrow or the next day," be not in a state of worry or over anxiety.

2) "For the morrow shall take thought for the things itself." (he gar aurion merimnesei heautes) "Because the morrow (future days) will be anxious of its own things;" Tomorrow will have its own anxieties, without your borrowing them to carry ahead of time. For "he serves tomorrow best who endures trouble one day at a time." There is no "evil", bad thing in outward appearance, but may be overcome for the good of a child of God and the glory of God, Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 10:31.

3) "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (arketon to homers, he kakia autos) "Sufficient or adequate to the day (any day) is the evil (bad) that comes in it." Every day brings its own cares and problems. To borrow and try to carry or solve them is to try to bear two days of cares unnecessarily, in one day, see? Such is hurtful, strength-draining that obstructs one from doing his best for God, one day at a time, such as was first taught in the model prayer, Matthew 6:11. Every day has its own troubles, toils, losses, temptations, etc. see? James 4:13. One has well said, "our worst misfortunes are those that never come," except to our evil imaginations, to which we are inclined by carnal nature, Genesis 6:5; For man is "born for", inclined to trouble,’ by nature, "as the sparks fly upward," Job 5:9. It is the unknown future that causes most of life’s anxieties and that leads to hoarding, anxiety for riches, and a covetous grasping after the things of the world as a "first priority" in the lives of so many, hurtfully. Let each of us grow in Christ, to that state Paul described, with contentment, Philippians 4:11; 1 Timothy 6:6; 1 Timothy 6:8; Hebrews 13:5.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Matthew 6". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/matthew-6.html. 1985.
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