Scripture Matthew 6:25-34
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Context Matthew 6 is the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. This chapter contains the middle portion of the Sermon on the Mount, including the Lord’s Prayer. Verses 19–34 deal with the necessity of a pure intention in all things, unmixed either with the desire of riches, or worldly care, and fear of want (wikipedia)
Cross Reference Gospels (and I added from NT) Luke 12:22-34
And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Old Testament Reference Proverbs 12:25
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Quotes, Commentary “If you want string and brown paper, you need not go into a shop to buy them, but if you buy certain articles, you get string and brown paper in the bargain. So, when you go to God, seeking first his kingdom and his righteousness, these other things, which are but the packing, as it were, the string and the brown paper, are given to you in the bargain. He who giveth you the golden treasures of heaven will not allow you to want for the copper treasures of earth.” Spurgeon
When Jesus spoke about grass being “thrown into the fire,” that was reference to a common frugality among ancient Israelites. Unlike today, cut grass was a useful source of fuel for many homes. People would cut the green grass of spring, let it dry, then wrap it into bundles (kind of like little logs). They’d burn those bundles in fire ovens for cooking and heating.
Scot Mcknight quote: “These are words for radicals about a radical lifestyle of trusting God for the ordinaries of life while devoting oneself unreservedly toward the kingdom mission.” and Jesus isn’t encouraging his disciples to be reckless. Instead, he’s calling them to follow him and to see that following him, or (in our text) seeking first the kingdom and righteousness, reshapes what we value most.
Earthly possessions dazzle our eyes and delude us into thinking that they can provide security and freedom from anxiety. Yet all the time they are the very source of anxiety. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.
Corrie ten Boom
Observations, Misc. This passage contrasts worship of things and worship of God.
Other There is a rumor on the internet that says Do not fear is said 365 times in the bible but after doing some research, I found this not to be true.
Question: Is worry a sin?
Prayer Father when the world takes my eyes and my mind and my heart and points them at things I seemingly can do nothing about, I ask that you either provide me with the strength and ability to do something about them, or bring me back to worshipping you. Help me to avoid situations that will cause worry because I know that the focus is then on myself. Point me to service for others to keep my hands and heart busy doing the work you have already provided for me to walk in and let it bring you glory. Amen