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Bible Commentaries

G. Campbell Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible
Matthew 6

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-34

In the first verse the Revised Version has substituted the word "righteousness" for "alms," "a reading approved of, almost unanimously, by the great editors and critics" (Morrison). This is a statement of a new motive for conduct. The application of the principle laid down in verse Matthew 6:1 to the subject of alms follows. The secret alms is known to God, who sees in secret. A subject of the King no longer desirous of the applause of his fellow men quietly and secretly helps the needy, and the deed is recognized by God, and is recompensed by Him.

Here the same principle is applied to prayer. Prayer is the soul dealing with God, and when one prays in order to attract the attention of men it is blasphemy. The prayer given as an example is perfect. The first three petitions move wholly in the realm of the divine purpose. Man must seek first the Kingdom of God. The second three voice man's probationary needs. The whole prayer is social. The singular pronoun is absent. Man enters the presence of the Father, and then prays as one of the great family.

The true reason for fasting is in the opportunity it affords for a clearer vision of God, which should ever manifest itself in new gladness of face.

The King warns His people against laying up for themselves earthly treasures. The Master does not say it is wrong to possess earthly treasure. He does say it is wrong to lay it up for self. We are to hold it as stewards.

The next saying gives a great principle of life. The emphasis in verse Matthew 6:24 should be on the word "serve." That word marks the true relationship existing between Mammon and the man who is given over to it. The man imagines he is compelling Mammon to serve him. As a matter of fact, he is serving Mammon, and the service precludes the possibility of his serving God. "Therefore," that is to say, all that follows is based on the principles of the foregoing statement. Anxiety concerning the things of life is slavery to those things, and it is wrong and futile. There is a subject for anxiety, and that is declared in the words, "seek the Kingdom," "serve God." The warning is against worry, not work.

 


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Bibliography Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Matthew 6:4". "G. Campbell Morgan Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gcm/matthew-6.html. 1857-84.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, December 14th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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