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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Matthew 6



Other Authors
Verses 1-4

Teaching on Almsgiving- Note that the Mosaic Law had statutes that reflected the teachings of Jesus on almsgiving that He gives in Matthew 6:1-4 ( Leviticus 19:10, Deuteronomy 15:7).

Leviticus 19:10, "And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God."

Deuteronomy 15:7, "If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:"

Scripture References- Note similar verses on helping the poor.

Proverbs 14:21, "He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he."

Proverbs 14:31, "He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor."

Proverbs 19:17, "He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD and that which he hath given will he pay him again."

Proverbs 28:8, "He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor."

Proverbs 28:27, "He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse."

Proverbs 29:7, "The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it."

Proverbs 31:9, "Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy."

Proverbs 31:20, "She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy."

Matthew 6:1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 6:1Textual Criticism - Most of the later manuscripts use the word ἐλεημοσύνην, while the early manuscripts use δικαιοσύνην. 384] Thus, modern English translations follow the earlier manuscripts and translate δικαιοσύνην as righteousness (ASV, ISV), piety (Hagner), good works (BBE), good actions (Weymouth), kindness (YLT), religious duties (LO), etc.

384] Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13, in Word Biblical Commentary, vol 33A, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), 137.

Comments - Matthew 6:1 serves as an introductory statement to Matthew 6:2-18, giving us the main point of this passage of Scripture. Jesus begins this section of teaching with a warning about serving others with the wrong motive. In contrast, Jesus teaches us here that we are to give to society in various ways with an expectation of receiving a heavenly reward, if we give with pure motives.

Matthew 6:2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Matthew 6:2 — "Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee" - Comments- John Broadus says the Greek commentators and most recent scholars believe this is a figurative expression only, and that it was not a literal practice in the days of Jesus. No actual instance of this practice has been found in Jewish writings. Broadus notes that Calvin conjectures the use of the trumpet, but with no evidence. 385] John Lightfoot says that he sought long and hard for evidence, but found none. 386] John Gill, Matthew Poole, A. T. Robertson, and Marvin Vincent all agree that this is intended to be a proverbial phrase, and that it was not practiced by the Jews. Therefore, the sounding of the trumpet is simply a figurative way of expressing ways to attract notice and applause of men.

385] John A. Broadus, Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew , in An American Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Alvah Hovey (Philadelphia, PA: American Baptist Publication Society, 1888), 127.

386] John Lightfoot, Horae Hebraicae et Talmudicae: Hebrew and Talmudical Exercitations Upon the Gospels, the Acts , Some Chapters of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans and the First Epistle to the Corinthians, vol 2, ed. Robert Gandell (Oxford: The University Press, 1859), 138.

Alfred Edersheim explains that the offering containers in Herod's Temple were called "trumpets" because of their shape, narrow towards the top, and wider at the base. He suggests that Jesus was making an "ironical illusion" to these offering buckets in Matthew 6:2. 387]

387] Alfred Edersheim, The Temple: Its Ministry and Services as They were at the Time of Jesus Christ (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1908), 49.

Because Jesus uses a hyperbole in the next verse when tells us not to let our left hand know what our right hand is doing, I suggest He is using this same form of speech when describing those who sound a trumpet as they give in the synagogues or along the streets, since there are no trumpets carried into these places.

Matthew 6:2 — "as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets" - Comments- The Greek word ύποκριτής has been transliterated into English word "hypocrites." The term was used in Jesus' day to refer to theatrical actors who played a role that was not real. Therefore, ύποκριτής is used figuratively by Jesus to refer to someone who pretends to be something that he is not.

The two standard ways to give benevolences in those days was to give an offering on the Sabbath at the synagogue, or to give to the poor who sit and beg along the streets.

Matthew 6:3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

Matthew 6:3Comments- The description of not letting a person's left hand know what his right hand is doing is somewhat of a hyperbole, or an exaggerated expression used to emphasize a point. Jesus uses this same form of speech in the preceding verse when describing those who sound a trumpet as they give. Hiding the left hand from the right hand is not something that can actually be done; rather, it describes an extreme act of secrecy. In fact, man's tendency is the opposite, which is to boast about his almsgiving and good deeds before others.

Matthew 6:4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

Matthew 6:4Comments - Our motive for giving to the poor should be from a heart of compation, and not to receive recognition from man. Jesse Duplantis says we are to give to those in need secretly in order to protect the dignity of those who are suffering. 388] Matthew 6:4 tells us that when we give to the poor with the right motive, we have a right to expect a reward from our Father who is in heaven. When we give to the poor we do not expect them to pay us back; but our God is rich, and He will be the one who rewards us. When we take a gife unto a king, he responds by giving an even greater gift back. This is what King Solomon did to the queen of Sheba. He gave her more to carry back than she brought to him. When we give to the poor as our way of worshipping and serving the Lord, then we are essentially giving unto Him. Jesus said, "Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me." ( Matthew 25:24)

388] Jesse Duplantis, Jesse Duplantis (Jesse Duplantis, Destrehan, Louisana), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program, 5 November 2012.

When we give to the poor in secret, that Isaiah , with a pure motive, our Heavenly Father will reward us openly. Thus, the extent of God's reward to those who give is done is such a way that men will recognize it as coming from God. Note these insightful words from Frances J. Roberts:

"Whatsoever ye sow in your secret thought-life, that shall ye reap. Sow love and kindness, and ye shall be rewarded openly. Sow charity and forgiveness, and ye shall reap in kind. Sow generosity and gratitude, and ye shall never feel poor. Sow hope, and ye shall reap fulfillment. Sow praise, and ye shall reap joy and well-being and a strong faith. Sow bountifully, and ye shall reap bountifully. Sow! Ye shall see your seed and be satisfied." 389]

389] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 93.

Verses 1-18

Divine Service in the Kingdom - In Matthew 6:1-18 Jesus teaches on sanctification in preparation for divine service. In this section of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ teaches the people about true sanctification in preparation for divine service to God through almsgiving, prayer and fasting. He will expound upon the topic of divine service in His second discourse in Matthew 10:1 to Matthew 11:1 and actually send out twelve apostles for training in divine service.

Under the Mosaic Law a Levite or priest must sanctify himself in order to be qualified for Temple service. After Jesus identifies true children of God in the Beatitudes ( Matthew 5:3-12) and in describing them as salt and light ( Matthew 5:13-16), and after He delivers to them the true meaning of the Ten Commandments ( Matthew 5:17-48), He now tells them how to sanctify themselves for divine service on their journey to the Promised Land. Just as Moses sanctified the Tabernacle and the people for the journey, Jesus gives us three keys to become sanctified before God in Matthew 6:1-18, almsgiving, prayer and fasting. This will prepare us for the rest of the journey described in Matthew 6:19 to Matthew 7:29. We are to give of our substance in almsgiving ( Matthew 6:1-4), which acts of mercy sanctifies the heart; then we give our lives to prayer ( Matthew 6:5-15), which sanctifies the mind by giving us spiritual direction and understand; and we afflict our bodies by fasting ( Matthew 6:16-18). Together, these acts of piety will keep us strong in faith and in fellowship with God for the journey into our place of rest with God.

Outline- Note the proposed outline:

1. Almsgiving (sanctifies the heart) — Matthew 6:1-4

2. Prayer (sanctifies the mind) — Matthew 6:5-15

3. Fasting (sanctifies the body) — Matthew 6:16-18

Jesus Teaches on Sanctification in Preparation for Divine Service - Jentezen Franklin comments that this three-fold act of Christian service, almsgiving, prayer and fasting, brings a hundred-fold return in a believer's life. He believes only practicing one virtue will bring a 30-fold return, and practicing two virtues will bring a 60-fold return; but all three will give a full return in our lives. With all three active in our lives, the blessings of God will so overflow as He rewards us openly that men will see these blessings ( Matthew 6:18). We see all three of these virtues explained in Isaiah 58:1-14. God's open reward is seen in the final verse of this chapter. 383]

383] Jentezen Franklin, interviewed by Benny Hinn, "This Is Your Day," on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program, 9 January 2004.

The frequent references to rewards from men and from God ( Matthew 6:1-2; Matthew 6:4-6; Matthew 6:16; Matthew 6:18) in Matthew 6:1-18 reveals that when we give alms, pray, and fast according to God's rules, we are to expect to receive heavenly rewards. In other words, we are to expect to receive from God when we give alms, or pray, or fast. To not have such an expectation would then be unbiblical.

Verses 5-15

Teaching on Prayer - In Matthew 6:5-15 Jesus teaches on prayer.

The Lord's Prayer ( Luke 11:1-4) - Matthew 6:9-15 contains a passage of Scripture that is popularly called The Lord's Prayer. This passage gives us principles ( Matthew 6:9 a), or guidelines, or a "manner," on how we come to God with our needs, which needs are mentioned in the previous verse ( Matthew 6:8). This prayer is intended to serve as a model of prayer, and not as a memorized prayer of repetition, which Jesus warns against in the previous verse ( Matthew 6:7). As His children, we enter His presence with intimacy of and Father and a child by calling Him "Father" ( Matthew 6:9 b), whom we worship and adore ( Matthew 6:9 c). We then pray a prayer of consecration, yielding ourselves to His will, to His purpose and plan, for the situation that causes us to have a need ( Matthew 6:10). In Matthew 6:11 we ask the Lord to make divine provision and supply our needs as we do His will. This is a walk of faith and trust in Him as our Provider. If we are going to receive from God in Matthew 6:11, then we are going to have to maintain a pure heart ( Matthew 6:12); for without it, our prayers are futile and fruitless. As we pursue God's will with a pure heart we pray for divine protection against the Devil, who comes to steal our faith and blessing and answered prayers ( Matthew 6:13 a,b). With God on our side, we cannot fail to receive, so we close our prayers with a confession of faith giving praise and glory and honor to our heavenly Father ( Matthew 6:13 c). Jesus end by warning of the believer's need to maintain a pure heart of forgiveness against all fellow men; for without it, our heavenly Father will not answer our prayers ( Matthew 6:14-15).

Prayers should begin in the morning, as Jesus set the example and as Matthew 6:34 shows, "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." There is enough evil that we confront each day to cause us the need to be concerned about how to walk in victory today and not worry about tomorrow's coming evil.

One suggested outline for the Lord's Prayer uses the following scheme:

Praise ( Matthew 6:9 b) - We begin prayer by entering the Lord's presence with praise and adoration.

Priority ( Matthew 6:10) - We then place the issues of the Kingdom of Heaven as the top priority before our daily needs.

Provision ( Matthew 6:11-12) - We ask the Lord for our daily provision and forgiveness in an unselfish manner.

Protection ( Matthew 6:13 a, b) - We ask the Lord for protection.

Praise ( Matthew 6:13 c) - We close our prayer giving the Lord all praise and honor for what He is doing in our lives.

Matthew 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Matthew 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Matthew 6:6 — "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet" - Comments- I once asked the Lord where my closet was. He replied that it was in my quiet place. In other words, a closet is a figurative term used to describe a place that you can go to that gives you peace and quiet, without distractions. No one can pray consistently and effectively without a prayer closet. A closet represents a place where you can be along with God, where you can pray unhindered, without distractions. Thus, Jesus says to "shut the door".

The fact that Jesus says to have such a place means that we pray most effectively when we have dedicated a place to go to when we pray. Abraham built an altar at each of his dwelling places. He understood the need to have a prayer closet. We deceive ourselves when we think that we can pray effectively anywhere.

Matthew 6:6 — "and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret" - Comments- Another reason we must go to a closet to prayer most effectively is because our flesh has the tendency to get in the way when we pray in public. The hypocritical prayer of the Pharisee in Luke 18:10-14 reminds us of how tempted man is to please his listeners when praying in public, rather than being sincere before God.

Matthew 6:5-6Comments- Note the words of Frances J. Roberts:

"Get you to the prayer closet! This is the reason I have taught thee to pray in secret: because there ye are beset by fewer false motives and less temptation. He who does not habitually commune with Me alone is almost sure to find true prayer impossible in public." 390]

390] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 30.


"The dazzle and glitter of public life is attractive to the eye of the carnal man; but I would closet you away in the secret places of humility and discipline of soul, denying the things that pertain to the outward man in order to perfect the inner life and enrich thy knowledge of Myself." 391]

391] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 174.

Illustration - Jesus serves as an excellent example of a man who went to His prayer "closet" to pray ( Matthew 14:23, Mark 1:35, Luke 6:12; Luke 9:18).

Matthew 14:23, "And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone."

Mark 1:35, "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed."

Luke 6:12, "And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God."

Luke 9:18, "And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am?"

Matthew 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Matthew 6:7Comments- In the Islamic religion public prayers are memorized. In fact, they project these prayers over their cities from their towers, believing that their god will hear them.

Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Matthew 6:9 — "After this manner therefore pray ye" - Comments- In other words, this prayer is a guideline for us to use during prayer, rather than verses we are to memorize and repeat.

Matthew 6:9"Our Father which art in heaven" - Comments- This shows a personal relationship that each individual has with God as Father. This concept was until now basically foreign to the children of Israel. David was the first individual in redemptive history to call God his Father, as recorded in the book of Psalm. Although three of the later prophets echoed this concept ( Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 22:21; Isaiah 63:16; Isaiah 64:8, Jeremiah 3:4; Jeremiah 3:19; Jeremiah 31:9, Malachi 2:10), Jesus was the first discuss it at length.

Matthew 6:9"Hallowed be thy name" - Comments - That Isaiah , "let thy name be sanctified, reverenced, treated as holy." A person's character is reflected in his name. Therefore, God's primary characteristic is holiness.

Note that we can bring glory and honor to His name as we shine as lights of truth and good works in this evil world ( Matthew 5:16). The opposite one who brings glory to God would be a person who curses the Lord and adheres to idols and made-up gods.

Matthew 5:16, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Matthew 6:10"Thy kingdom come" - Comments- What is the Kingdom of God.

Romans 14:17, "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."

Matthew 6:10 — "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" - Comments- Jesus came on earth in order to reestablish God's will, purpose and plan on the earth. He then gave the Church the authority to take dominion over the earth and establish God's will in the lives of mankind.

Matthew 6:10Comments- In Matthew 6:10 we commit ourselves to perform God's will for our lives. We may paraphrase Matthew 6:10, "Use me to do thy will on earth in building the kingdom of God." After we have placed God's office above ourselves in Matthew 6:9, then are we able to submit to His plan and purpose in our lives. We are to pray that God's kingdom will come upon this earth so that mankind will begin to live here on earth as he will be living in heaven. We can better understand the meaning of Matthew 6:10 by taking a brief look at the central theme of Ephesians. The epistle to the Ephesians takes us deeper into God's divine plan for mankind than any of his other epistles. I believe that the general theme to this epistle is the revelation of the spiritual blessings and divine authority that God has given to His Church, referred to in the key verse as "being blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." ( Matthew 1:3).

He is telling them that God has blessed the Church with a great plan and that He is actively working out His divine plan in the life of each believer. Therefore, the emphasis on the first three chapters will be God's action towards mankind, and the last three chapters will emphasize man's action towards God in light of this truth. There is a part of history that we can visibly see and there is a part of history that we cannot see, which is the part that God is orchestrating. This divine intervention by God underlies all visible history that we can see with our eyes.

The ultimate outcome will be the coming together of all things in Christ. If this outcome were dependent upon Prayer of Manasseh , then it would fail. However, Paul emphasizes that this outcome will be determined by God, and this outcome by His grace, and not because of man's good works. Thus comes the resounding, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!" ( Matthew 1:3). But we cannot underestimate the role of man in this ultimate outcome, which is seen in chapters 4-6. For the Church has been commissioned to take the Gospel to all nations. If they fail in this role, then multitudes of souls will not be found in heaven.

If God will determine the outcome of history, and He will do this by His grace ( Matthew 2:8-10), then this work must be done in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the plan that God has chosen to accomplish His will and purpose for mankind. Therefore, Paul repeatedly emphasizes that all that we are is because of Jesus and all that we do must be done in accordance to our service to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Thus, the major theme of this epistle is that God has blessed the Church with many spiritual blessings in order to bring about His purpose and plan on earth. Did not the Lord Jesus refer to this role of the Church in bringing God's will upon the earth in the Lord's Prayer, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." ( Matthew 6:10). Therefore, the believer will find peace and joy only as he sets his heart and affections on these things above and not on the things of this earth.

Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.

Matthew 6:11Word Study on "daily bread" - The Greek words " επιού σιος αρτον" literally mean "daily bread." The word "daily" (G 1967) is only used twice in the New Testament, the other occurrence being found in the parallel passage of Luke 11:3. It probably comes from the Greek verb έ πειμι (G 1966), which means, "to come upon, to approach." Used in relation to time, this verb means, "to come on, be at hand," thus as an adverb, "next, following, on the following day." F. F. Bruce notes that this phrase is used outside the New Testament on a papyrus in the sense of "daily rations," thus justifying the familiar rendering. 392] Our daily bread is possibly an Old Testament reference to the manna in the Wilderness.

392] F. F. Bruce, The Books and the Parchments (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1963), 69.

Matthew 6:11Comments (1) - Matthew 6:11 is a prayer for our daily needs, and not a prayer of desires to consume it upon the lusts of our flesh ( James 4:3). The Christian life is a daily walk. God's will for our lives is found in the events of today and not in future accomplishments. The emphasis in this verse is that the Christian life is not a project that must be completed, but rather a daily relationship with the Heavenly Father. God's plan for our lives is to live holy and in fellowship with Him today, knowing that the cares of tomorrow will take care of themselves. We must learn to walk with Him day by day as the disciples did after forsaking all. As long as we serve Him, He will provide for us. This is why the previous verse reads, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." ( Matthew 6:10) When we yield ourselves to divine service, God will provide.

James 4:3, "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts."

Illustration- I first learned this divine truth when I stepped out of Seminary where I was pursuing a Master's Degree in Theology. I wanted to make for myself a great career in the ministry. When I took time off to learn how to wait upon the Lord and how to maintain fellowship with Him and how to hear His voice, I resigned myself to listening to His directions for that day, and not worry about tomorrow. When I prayed a year after stepping out of Seminary, saying, "Lord, would you be pleased if I finished Seminary," his reply was, "I would be pleased if you had faith in Me." In other words, I was to not worry about the future, but take my life today and learn how to trust Him. In doing Song of Solomon , I began to see how He would divinely order my steps day by day into the place and in the direction that He wanted me to go.

For example, as I began to learn how to put my faith in God, I decided to start my own company doing handiwork around people's homes. One day, I ran out of cement bags and it was too far to drive into town to purchase more bags before the cement I had poured would have dried, and I would have had to start the work all over. While I was standing there wondering what to do, the owner of the property drove up, asked me how I was doing, and showed me several bags of cement a few feet away in a storage room. What a divine appointment.

There was another time when the Lord gave me a dream and showed me the electrical problem on my work truck, a problem that had plagued me for many days. In this dream, a figure pointed to my fuse box under the dash panel of the truck and pointed to two burned wires. When I awoke, I went out to my work truck and found these two burnt wired exactly where I had seen them in a dream.

Another day, I was installing a plastic wrap around in the bathtub of a rental home. I cut the material wrong, and realized that this mistake would cost me about US$ 80. I did not enough money at the time to purchase new material for this job. I went out into the front lawn of this house, laid down on my back facing heaven and cried, "Lord, help!" Immediately, the Lord gave me an inspired idea. I jumped up, ran into the house, flipped the plastic panels around and somehow made them easily fit into the tub enclosure.

As I met people and gave bids on repairs to their homes, the Lord would place skilled craftsmen in my path when I needed to know how to do a particular job. I would talk to these men and go back and to the job like the craftsman had instructed me.

I had dreams of how to invent tools for particular jobs. Each day became an adventure. I stopped worrying about tomorrow and began to focus on finding the Lord's presence and divine intervention for that day. I could tell other stories, but the point is that the Lord began to teach me how to follow Him that day. I learned to simply follow His steps.

Eventually, the Lord gave me a "rhema" word, a spoken word, to return to Seminary. He confirmed this word with multiple dreams before I moved back to Texas and finished Seminary. What a testimony of divine intervention I have experienced during that season of my life, as I learned how to cast my daily cares upon the Lord.

Comments (2) - The Scriptures teach us to not be anxious about tomorrow. The Sermon on the Mount emphasizes the need to focus on the events of today and cast the worries of tomorrow into the hands of God ( Matthew 6:19-34). We see this truth illustrated when Jesus tells us the Parable of the Rich Fool who stored up his wealth, only to lose his life in vanity ( Luke 12:13-21). The epistle of James warns us against saying, "Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain." He tells us that we do not know what the future holds for us tomorrow. We are to rather say, "If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that." ( James 4:13-16)

James 4:13-16, "Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil."

These are stories of how people put their faith in worldly possessions. Thus, we see that looking to the future for material or social gain without trusting in the Lord becomes a form of covetousness. However, when we focus on today, we are able to place our energies into being productive for the needs at hand, rather than wasting needless energy on issue that never bring fruit in our lives.

I am learning to live each day for the Lord and trust Him to determine my future, for I have placed it in His hands. For those who have learned the "daily secret," you have found that God has a much greater and better plan for your life than you could have every dreamed. "Lord, give us this day our daily bread."

Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Matthew 6:12Comments- Our debts and our debtors refer to "faults and those at fault." The Lord wants us to always remember that although others are at fault with us, we have our own faults. It is so easy to be quick to criticize others for their faults and not be aware of our own faults.

Matthew 6:12 is a good verse to explain that the Catholic tradition of confessing sins to a priest should be directed to God the Father. It is God who has the power to forgive sins (note 1 John 1:9).

1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Matthew 6:13"For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever" - Comments:

The kingdom- He is called the Lord of Hosts.

The power- He is called Almighty God, or Lord God Almighty.

The glory- He is called the Holy One of Israel.

Scripture Reference- Note:

Psalm 22:28, "For the kingdom is the LORD"S: and he is the governor among the nations."

Matthew 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

Matthew 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 6:14-15Comments - Prayer and Fasting- Prayer and forgiveness work together. In Psalm 24:3-4, with sin and unforgiveness in us, God will not hear our prayers.

Psalm 24:3-4, "Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully."

Verses 16-18

Teaching on Fasting - In Matthew 6:16-18 Jesus teaches on fasting. This passage teaches us how to fast. There are some amazing stories in the Old Testament that reveal to us the power of fasting as we afflict our souls before God. The prophet Joel came to the nation of Israel during a time when the curse of the Law had devastated the land. The first thing that Joel did was to call a fast and a holy assembly ( Matthew 1:14) and God promised to restore the land if they would repent and serve Him. The prophet Isaiah explained the true meaning of the fast to a people stricken with sickness and poverty ( Isaiah 58).

Matthew 6:16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Matthew 6:17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;

Matthew 6:18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

Verse 19

Perseverance Amidst Worldliness- After Jesus calls the true children of God out in the Beatitudes ( Matthew 5:3-12) and tells them their work ( Matthew 5:13-16), and after He delivers to them the meaning of the Ten Commandments ( Matthew 5:17-48), and after He tells them how to sanctify themselves for divine service through almsgiving, prayer and fasting ( Matthew 6:1-18), He now tells them how to perseverance amidst worldliness so that they will be able to find their place of rest with God. He will expound upon this topic again in His third discourse consisting of parables of man's reactions to Gospel ( Matthew 13:1-52). Jesus talks about seeking God first, judging one another, and giving and receiving.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Seeking God First (The Heart) — Matthew 6:19-34

2. Judging One Another (The Mind) — Matthew 7:1-6

3. Giving and Receiving (The Body) — Matthew 7:7-12

Verses 19-34

Seek First the Kingdom of Heaven ( Luke 12:22-34) - In Matthew 6:19-34 Jesus teaches on the priority of seeking first the Kingdom of Heaven. We may liken this to the children of Israel at Mount Sinai as they were now ready to seek the Promised Land. They fell into fear and worry because of the circumstances around them. Jesus tells us the secret to success is to seek God first and trust that He will meet our needs.

The theme of Matthew 6:19-34 is about learning to live each day without worry, by trusting that God will supply our every need. Song of Solomon , in order to take our eyes off of the threatening concerns of this world, we must find a place of confident to gaze upon. We must learn that God is able to divinely guide our every step; for He is our Father, which is the most intimate name for God in the Holy Scriptures. He is also our All-Sufficient, All-Mighty Lord. Matthew uses God's creation to illustrate to us that He is able to supernaturally provide for these lowly creatures, and how much more for us. Jesus gives us an example from the animal kingdom and from the plant kingdom in order to show to us God's love towards us. Jesus also calls God by the name of "Father" in this passage of Scripture in order to let us know how He loves us far more than He loves all other living creatures under heaven. We must know how perfect is His knowledge about us that He knows our every need even before we know the need. Therefore, the only way that we can enter into rest and depart from worry and anxiety is to come to know our Heavenly Father and to believe that He is intervening in our lives each day. The more intimately we know Him, the easier it is to rest in His loving arms.

Singleness of Heart - In Matthew 6:19-24 Jesus teaches the people about singleness of heart, or how to keep a pure heart towards God. A person must watch his heart and not let covetousness creep in by storing up valuables upon earth ( Matthew 6:19). Man's true treasures are in heaven ( Matthew 6:20). A man's heart will become attached to his treasures ( Matthew 6:21). We are to keep our hearts pure, because this is the instrument by which God speaks to man and guides him in righteousness ( Matthew 6:22). A person with an impure heart cannot hear the voice of God, but will walk in darkness ( Matthew 6:23). The spirit of man is created so that it can only be devoted to one master ( Matthew 6:24). This single devotion of heart will be necessary for the next step of following God's leadership by the spirit, which Jesus discusses in the next passage of Scripture, where He addresses worry and seeking the Kingdom of Heaven first ( Matthew 6:25-34).

Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

Matthew 6:19Comments - A person's treasures are whatever their heart is passionate to receive. If a person loves money, or sports cars, or entertainment, these become his "treasures." Jesus will tell us in Matthew 6:32 that the Gentiles are seeking after all of these things. However, we are not to seek earthly things, but rather heavenly things.

Jesus warns us that earthly treasures are corruptible, and therefore, temporal. If we can place ourselves back in Bible times, we can imagine the clothes being made of wool and other natural fabrics. We can see how their houses were not built like they are today to keep out bugs and moths. How often these ancients must have pulled out there clothes to find moth holes in them. Their iron work did not have the galvanized coatings that modern science had developed. Song of Solomon , iron would rust quickly and break down. We have a similar statement in James as he rebukes the rich for robbing wages from the poor in order to heap to themselves earthly riches.

James 5:2-3, "Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days."

Illustration- After having spent two years driving a garbage truck, it finally dawned on me that, eventually, every bit of our material possessions, everything, including houses and cars, which were once so valued, will become old, decayed, rotted or corrupted and thrown away. It all found its way into the back of my garbage truck, even the farmer"s beloved old dog, now dead was once thrown in the back of my garbage truck.

Matthew 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

Matthew 6:20Comments - Because earthly treasures are temporal, we must put our efforts in this life to store up heavenly treasures. Such heavenly treasures are those things that are eternal, such as peace and joy in the Lord, communion with the Father, walking in the gifts of the Spirit and callings of God.

Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure Isaiah , there will your heart be also.

Matthew 6:21Comments - Our treasure is what we consider the most valuable, the most important, or the top priority in our life. Jesus tells us to store our treasures in heaven, where we know we will receive a reward one day ( Luke 14:14, 2 Timothy 4:7-8); but more importantly, our hearts will stay pure before God and not be turned away towards covetousness.

Luke 14:14, "And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just."

2 Timothy 4:7-8, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judges , shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."

To be able to store our treasures in heaven, we are to set our minds on heavenly things, things that we understand are eternal.

Colossians 3:1-3, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."

It is not hard to tell where your heart is. A man is going to talk about his treasure. Why? Because that will be what is on his heart, and he will speak out of the abundance of his heart ( Matthew 12:34). Listen to the conversation that normally comes out of your mouth. This is not referring to religious talk that we many put on in church. Listen to what you enjoy talking about. You know already what your joy is. Most people know what you enjoy talking about, also. God knows our heart ( 1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Chronicles 28:9, etc):

Matthew 12:34, "O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."

1 Samuel 16:7, "But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart."

1 Chronicles 28:9, "And thou, Solomon my Song of Solomon , know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever."

Psalm 7:9, "Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins."

Proverbs 17:3, "The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts."

Jeremiah 11:20, "But, O LORD of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause."

Jeremiah 17:10, "I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings."

Jeremiah 20:12, "But, O LORD of hosts, that triest the righteous, and seest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I opened my cause."

John 2:24, "But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,"

Acts 1:24, "And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,"

Hebrews 4:13, "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do."

Revelation 2:23, "And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works."

Matthew 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

Matthew 6:22"The light of the body is the eye" - Comments - The eye refers to the heart, or the spirit of man ( Proverbs 20:27, Acts 26:18, Ephesians 1:18). In the previous passage ( Matthew 6:19-21) Jesus has just discussed singleness of heart towards God by storing up treasures in heaven, and not upon the earth. He now explains that the heart of man is what illuminates his path so that he can walk upright before God.

Proverbs 20:27, "The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly."

Acts 26:18, "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me."

Ephesians 1:18, "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,"

There are many other verses in the Scriptures that refer to the heart figuratively by calling it the eyes:

Psalm 119:18, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law."

Isaiah 6:10, "Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed."

Isaiah 29:10, "For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered."

Isaiah 29:18, "And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness."

Isaiah 32:3, "And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken."

Isaiah 42:7, "To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house."

Matthew 13:15, "For this people"s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."

Luke 24:45, "Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,"

Acts 16:14, "And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul."

2 Corinthians 4:4-6, "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus" sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

Ephesians 5:8, "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:"

"if therefore thine eye be single" - Comments - The description of the eye, or heart, being "single" refers to a pure heart. Strong says the Greek word ἁπλοῦς (G 573) literally means, "folded together, or single," and used figuratively it means "clear." Within the context of this passage, it means, "uprightness, sincerity of heart, fearing God." This Greek word is used only two times in the New Testament. The same word is used in Colossians 3:22 as a noun, and here it is used as an adjective.

Colossians 3:22, "Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:"

We have a similar phrase in Ephesians 6:5, "Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;"

The opposite of singleness of heart is the "evil" heart, which is stated in next verse ( Matthew 6:23).

"thy whole body shall be full of light" - Comments - The heart of man is what illuminates his path so that he can walk upright before God. The heart must remain pure in order for God's light to shine in us and direct us in every area of life. We cannot hear from God with an evil heart, and will walk in darkness. Proverbs 20:27 makes a similar statement of how man's heart is God's instrument to guide his life, "The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly." Titus 1:15 notes how the condition of a man's heart affects how he views things around him, "Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled."

Matthew 6:23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

Matthew 6:23 — "But if thine eye be evil" - Comments - The Scriptures refer to an "evil eye" in other passages ( Proverbs 28:22, Matthew 20:15, Mark 7:22, 1 John 2:16). This term is used figuratively to represent the evil heart of man.

Proverbs 28:22, "He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him."

Matthew 20:15, "Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?"

Mark 7:22, "Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:"

1 John 2:16, "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."

Matthew 6:23"thy whole body shall be full of darkness" - Scripture References:

Romans 1:21, "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened."

2 Corinthians 4:4, "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

Matthew 6:23 — "If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness" - Comments - A child can be taught to serve the Lord in a life of righteousness when he/she is young, so that the heart remains pure. As a person grows up he may fall into the snares of Satan so that his heart becomes dull of hearing the Spirit of God.

Matthew 6:22-23Comments- The Lamp of the Body is the Eye ( Luke 11:33-36) - In Matthew 6:22-23 Jesus explains how man's human spirit, or heart, is the instrument God has designed within man to speak to him and guild his path, or decisions, so that he can walk upright before God. One of the greatest books written on this subject has been written by Kenneth Hagin entitled How You Can Be Led by the Spirit of God. 393]In this work Hagin explains that the primary way that God leads His children is by the inner witness of his heart, whether he has a peace about a decision or a hesitancy to say no to an action.

393] Kenneth Hagin, How You Can Be Led by the Spirit of God (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1986, 1997).

Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Matthew 6:24 — "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other" - Comments - A person cannot serve God by storing up earthly treasures ( Matthew 6:19-21), simply because his heart will become covetous and evil towards God. God has created our spirit to be the light by which God guides us through life ( Matthew 6:22). But when a heart becomes evil towards God he begins to walk in darkness ( Matthew 6:23). Jesus sums up Matthew 6:19-23 by telling us that we cannot serve both earthly things and God. We must choose between the two where we will direct our affections. Once we make the decision to serve the Lord, we have to learn how to trust Him, which will be the theme of the next passage in Matthew 6:25-34.

Note the parallel passage in Luke's Gospel:

Luke 16:13, "No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

Matthew 6:24 — "Ye cannot serve God and mammon" - Comments - Strong says that the Greek word μαμμωνᾶς (G 3126) is of Aramaic origin and means "confidence, i.e. wealth, personified." F. F. Bruce says the word "mammon" is an Aramaic word that comes from the same root as "Amen." 394] Thus, it originally meant, "that in which one puts his trust." "Mammon" literally means, "confidence" and comes to mean, "wealth" when used in a figurative sense, as in Matthew 6:24.

394] F. F. Bruce, The Books and the Parchments (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1963), 57.

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?

Matthew 6:25 — "Therefore I say unto you" - Comments - Jesus moves into a new focus of thought in Matthew 6:25-34 by warning against worry and exhorting about the need to seek the Kingdom of Heaven first. He has finished a passage of Scripture on maintaining a pure heart so that a person can be led by the Spirit of God. Once a person begins to walk with a clear heart he begins to make decisions based on the inner witness of his heart. It takes faith to be led by the Spirit of God when circumstances appear contrary to the inward witness. The voice of the mind, which is reason, struggles against the inward witness, because the person has been trained to walk by sight up until this point and must learn to walk by faith. The concerns for the provision of basis needs of life must be cast into the hands of the Lord. Jesus walked away from his carpenter's shop at the approximate age of thirty and had no plans of provision. He knew what it was like to be led by the Spirit and trust His Heavenly Father day by day. Song of Solomon , he is saying in Matthew 6:25-34, "Therefore, once your heart is pure so that you can hear the voice of God, trust Him to take care of you needs in this life as you are led by the Spirit."

Matthew 6:25 — "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" - Word Study on "take…thought" - Strong says the Greek word μεριμνά ω (G 3309) means, "to be anxious."

Comments - Do not worry about your physical needs when you are walking with a pure heart before the Lord. Worry is simply having a fear that lack will come. These basic needs are listed in order of priority. In many cultures eating a meal is followed by drinking, since consumption of food causes thirst. The second priority in man's basic need after food is clothing. Other basic needs could be listed in this passage of Scripture, such as shelter, social needs, etc.; but these are not necessary to make the point.

Matthew 6:25 — "Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment" - Comments - Jesus will now explain the true meaning of life, but first He teaches us to not worry ( Matthew 6:26-32). Then in Matthew 6:33, Jesus tells us that life consists of seeking a relationship with God and all of the things that we worry about will be taken care of. Note other Scriptures that teach this same principle.

Matthew 4:4, "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (also Luke 4:4)

Luke 12:15, "And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man"s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth."

Romans 14:17, "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."

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?

Matthew 6:26"Behold the fowls of the air" - Comments - The word "behold" means, "To look at, to consider." This word in the Greek is an intensified form of the word "to look." It means here to carefully observe and examine, not just to look at in a glance. Jesus is telling them to study how God made this part of his creation.

Perhaps the best example in nature to express how not to worry and be anxious is to look at how birds are free to go about and find food and drink and observe beauty from the skies above. Yet, God always meets their needs. How many times has the heavenly Father brought a bird into my quiet time. Once, while kneeling besides my bed, I was looking through a crack in the window shade. A red bird came and lit behind the shrub of a house in view of this narrow gap in the window. Again, while sitting one afternoon by a big picture window, two young birds lit and began chipping. Soon a father or mother bird brought food to them. One of the baby birds chipped and chipped, while the other remained silent. The bird that chirped the loudest got the food, and this happened to the noisy baby bird three times in a row. God will meet our needs of food and drink in times of need. Jehovah Jireh, God our Provider.

"for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns" - Comments - Notice how birds are always seeking food. They neither sow it, harvest (reap) it, nor do they store it up for later days. God provides daily for them food. How much more worthy are we than fowls to receive from God.

"yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they" - Comments - Jesus tells us that God is our heavenly Father, a title that reflects intimacy and love from God. Jesus has called God our Father throughout the Sermon on the Mount. This is the first time that mankind has been taught that God is also our heavenly Father. David referred to God as Father in Psalm 89:26 in a Messianic prophecy. Otherwise, no man had addressed God as Father until the Sermon on the Mount.

Psalm 89:26, "He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation."

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

Matthew 6:27"Which of you by taking thought" - Comments - To take thought means, "by being anxious, concerned, or worried." Note:

Philippians 4:6, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."

Matthew 6:27 — "can add one cubit unto his stature?" - Comments - This is a rhetorical question. Who is able to add to his life one day, or who is able to add to his stature one cubit?

Matthew 6:27Comments - Only God can add to a man's life. Illustration: Hezekiah was sick unto death, but God added 15 years to the life of the king ( Isaiah 38:1-8).

Paraphrased, "Which of you, by worrying, is going to change any thing?"

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:

Matthew 6:28"Consider the lilies of the field" - Comments - Consider the attractive wild flowers of the meadow. Making garments takes toil and spinning.

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

Matthew 6:29Comments - Flowers are more beautiful than the best that man has done in making garments. All of Solomon"s glory is not to be equaled to one little flower that God made. God"s creation reveals God's divine glory. Amen.

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

Matthew 6:30Comments - Little faith means that it can and does grow into bigger faith, just like a grain of mustard seed grows into a large tree of the field.

Matthew 6:29-30Comments - Seeing God in His Creation- When a person walks by and sees a flower in full bloom, he will often take notice of its beauty. So the world "considers the lilies of the field." God wants us to take more than a glance. He wants us to learn a spiritual lesson from its beauty. He wants us to meditate upon its beauty and see God's handiwork in it. He wants us to then consider the fact that its beauty is very short lived and will soon fade away. With this consideration, we are to learn that God is much more concerned about our well being than about a single flower. In other words, God created this incredible universe so that it may declare the glory of God in every aspect of its handiwork. We find this divine truth revealed in Roman Matthew 1:19-20 when Paul writes that the invisible attributes of God are clearly seen and understood by His creation.

Romans 1:19-20, "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:"

I believe that one day in Heaven God will take us through a teaching session and show to us how He has designed His creation in a way that is intended to reveal each aspect of His divine nature. Each part of His amazing creation speaks of a particular aspect of His divine attributes.

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

Matthew 6:31Comments - Out of the abundance of a man's heart the mouth speaks. This verse shows a poor, negative confession.

Matthew 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

Matthew 6:32Comments - God is the Provider, Jehovah Jireh. He already knows our needs; present, past and future. The world has no true provider. The devil, who controls the world, makes a poor provider, and his promises are empty. Therefore the world has to seek for everything it has. The Lord has ordained that a believer rests in Him; While the Gentiles have a destiny to labour each day and go through stress and worry, the child of God is ordained to walk through each day by serving the Lord and taking care of His needs. In turn, the Lord takes care of His servants' needs.

Matthew 6:31-32Comments - The Cares of the World- The world continually worries about when and where their provision is coming from. They say, "How are we going to make it through this situation?" or "How are we going to pay this bill?" They are always trying to figure out their situations in life. The world does not realize that if they will simply give the Lord His portion first, He will work supernaturally to give them their provision. In contrast, the child of God rests in the Lord. He serves the Lord, knowing that somehow things will work out and his needs will be met.

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

Matthew 6:33 — "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness" - Comments - Jesus gives us the principles of the Kingdom of God in the Sermon on the Mount. We are to seek to become a member of the Kingdom of God, then walk in righteousness by following these kingdom principles. We are to focus our energy on being holy and pleasing to God by using His standard of righteousness, rather than man's unrighteous ways. We are not to focus our energies on our selfish ambitions. We are to put the kingdom principles first, and He will then divinely provide for our needs. We are to keep the main thing the main thing. Jesus is to have the preeminence in our lives ( Colossians 1:17-18).

Colossians 1:17-18, "And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."

Let not your mind be caught up in worry over these things; but set your mind on the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Put these thoughts first.

To seek Him first with all your strength is to first use your strength to serve Him and then what is left, use for other purposes. To seek Him first with all your mind is to meditate and memorize His Word before going on to other thoughts. To seek Him first with all your soul is to worship God and to think on Him as much as possible each day.

When we go to study, we first study the most important assignments, and then end our studies with least important things. If, each day, we will first spend time with God, if we seek His Word first before outside studies, then we are putting God first, in our time and in our heart.

Notice that Matthew 6:33 does not say to "seek ye only." In other words, it is not wrong to seek other things, such as material possessions, but the seeking must be done in the proper order. If we will seek love, justice, equity, Wisdom of Solomon , and knowledge, then we will find ourselves in places of leadership and prosperity. If we seek the things of God first, the other things that the Gentiles are seeking after will come.

The Lord spoke to me in the early 1990"s and said to me, "You take care of my needs first." In other words, the Lord was saying that He could only meet my needs as I first take care of His needs. What are His needs? The Lord needs His ministers and His churches to be supported. He wants us to meet the needs of others who are not as fortunate as us ( Matthew 25:40).

Matthew 25:40, "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

One preacher said, "Lord, you give me what I need, and I will do what you say." The Lord replied, "No, you do what I say, and I will give you what you need."


Hebrews 10:36, "For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise."

Matthew 6:33 — "and then all these things" - Comments - According to verse 31, "these things" refer to food, drink, clothing. God's peace will also come. This peace will keep our hearts and minds, guarding them like a guard keeps watch over a castle or a prison cell, so that the devil cannot enter in with fiery darts.

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

Matthew 6:33 — "shall be added unto you" - Comments - The Greek literally says, "shall be placed before you." As we seek first the things of God first, He will divinely supply all other things as the needs arise in our lives so that we no longer need to stress about the issues of life. Note a paraphrase of this verse by Frances J. Roberts: "Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven; set your desires wholly to obtain the riches of God, and all other things shall be freely supplied according as the needs arise." 395] Deuteronomy 28:2 says the same thing when it says God"s blessings shall overtake you, "And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God." In other words, God will bring these things into our lives without us having to search for them ourselves. If we go out and get something that God does not want us to have, then we have to use the world's system in order to obtain it.

395] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 75.

If we walk by the kingdom principles, then the peace of God will be in a person"s life ( Philippians 4:6-7). You will know when someone is seeking the kingdom of God first, because the fruit of peace will be in that person"s life ( Matthew 7:16).

Matthew 7:16, "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?"

Matthew 6:33Illustration- In 1 Kings 17:2-7, God fed Elijah during the time of famine. In 1 Kings 17:8-16, God provided for Elijah and the widow of Zarephath.

Illustration- In 1 Kings 3:5-15, God gave Solomon a dream in which He asked Solomon to make a request. Solomon asked for wisdom and understanding (literally, a heart hearing). God was pleased with how Solomon had put the Lord before riches and honor. So God gave him riches and honor (glory) and long life as long Solomon would be obedient to God's Word. Solomon received all of this for seeking kingdom of God first.

Other scripture references:

All of Psalm 37 - Wait on the Lord!

Psalm 37:25, "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread."

Example: Jeremiah , in siege of the city of Jerusalem, everyone was starving about him, but he had bread and water to satisfy his needs. Why? Because God"s Word promises so:

Psalm 37:19, "They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied."

Mark 10:29-30, "And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel"s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life."

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.

Matthew 6:34 — "Take therefore no thought for the morrow" - Comments - James warns us against boasting about thoughts and plans for tomorrow in the same sense as this passage says not to be worried about it. Rather, place yourselves into God's divine care each day.

James 4:13-16, "Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil."

Matthew 6:34 "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" - Comments - We should begin each day in prayer because this verse shows us that every day is full of evil forces combating us.

Matthew 6:34Comments - Do not think about tomorrow. It is evil enough for the day. The NASB and NIV say, "Each day has enough trouble of its own."


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Matthew 6:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, October 31st, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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