Matthew 6

Be humble when giving to others 1
Hypocrisy in prayer 5
The prayer Jesus taught 9
Humility in fasting 16
Send treasures to heaven 19
Lamp of the body 22
Choose one master 24
Don't worry - God provides 25
Christ's sermon on the mount continues turning from the meaning of righteousness to its application.
 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.
.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.
 3  But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
 4  That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
  1 - Alms Some manuscripts say "righteousness" instead. Considering this meaning, we see three major practices in doing alms. In modern English doing alms is giving to relieve the poor, although as righteousness, the meaning would be broader.
  1 - Before men The text is clear.
  2 - Hypocrites From a verb meaning "to pretend."
  3 - Left hand know Whatever may be the source of this symbolism, we understand that people are not to brag about their personal help for others. Compare ec0910, ac0428. Why keep help for others quiet? To avoid pride and an attitude of righteousness by works. The principle apparently does not preclude knowing about groups who help. And some help could not be given in complete secrecy. Compare lu2102.
.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.
.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.
.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.
 8  Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
  7 - Vain repetitions This advice applies today. Would the rosary violate the principle?
  8 - Before ye ask Therefore repeating prayer words does not impress Him to hurry and help us. Also, we need to pray often about the same request. lu1807.
.9 ¶ After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
.10  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
.11  Give us this day our daily bread.
.12  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
.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.
  9 - After this manner Jesus didn't tell us to simply repeat His words, although thoughtfully going through the points of this prayer and talking to God about them is certainly good. A part of this prayer is recorded beginning at lu1101. Could a mindless repetition of this prayer violate the principle of v7? This prayer may be better called "our prayer." His is John 17.
  13 - Lead us not David explains the concept ps02803.
An interesting comparison
The Lord's Prayer
The Ten Commandments
4 declarations about the Father 4 duties toward God (ex20)
6 requests (and 3 attributes) 6 duties toward others
.14  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
 15  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Compare a similar requirement about witnessing for Christ: mt1032,33.
.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.
 17  But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
 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.
  16 - Fast The practice was considered important for the Jews mr0218. Jesus speaks here of private fasting which was not a matter of penance but of a clear mind for communication with God.
.19 ¶ Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
 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:
 21  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
  19 - Lay not up The advice is about where to accumulate wealth, not about whether to do it. We need to provide for our families and somewhat for future needs 1th0411, 2th0310, 1ti0508. Compare pr1022.
.22  The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
 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!
   22 - Eye of light Seeing life in light from heaven as shown in the Scriptures.
   23 - Light that is darkness By continuing to deny truth while justifying evil, sin seems right. mt1224le.
.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 [wealth in money or possessions].
   24 - Wealth What a challenge to keep our hearts centered on God.
.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?
.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?
 27  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
.28  And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
 29  And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
 30  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
  25 - Take no thought for life Jesus is not telling us to sit and do nothing. Taking thought is worrying and worry means distrust of God which leads to taking matters into our own hands. In this case, stealing or cheating to get what we think we need.
  25 - Life is more More than meat (an old word for food) and raiment (clothes). In this world we prepare for eternal life.
  26 - Fowls ... sow not Of course we may need to sow for God has given us intelligence. The point is that God takes care of us jb3841, ps14709. We are more valuable in His sight lu1206.
  27 - Stature Greek helikia also means "age" as in jn0923, he1111. "Stature" (height) may have been the intended meaning. Most people old enough for a driver's license aren't hoping to be older.
  28 - Lilies From krina. The intention may have been "wildflowers."
  30 - Solomon His court was considered beautiful 1ki1001, 1ki1021. And Christ, who saw him, knew how he dressed.
 31  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
 32  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
.33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
.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.
  31 - Take no thought A summary. See on v25.
  32 - Gentiles seek Our focus is to be on the heavenly kingdom.
  33 - Seek ye first A promise to memorize. Compare lu1231. On the eternal scale our life here is like grass that burns quickly and is gone v30. It is tempting to work for things that have no real valueis5502.
  34 - Thought for the morrow Jesus was not against planning but against worrying v25. After planning we move forward a day at a time.
  34 - Sufficient Each day has enough problems without our adding worry.
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