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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Matthew's Gospel

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Frameworks: Matthew's Gospel, chapter 6

 

(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a description of what is happening)

   

FRAMEWORKS: Matthew, chapter 6

Part 1 v.1-18: Spirituality before God

v.1-4 Give to the Needy – in secret
v.5-18 Keep your spirituality simple and hidden

Part 2: v.19-34 Trusting God for Provisions

v.19-24 Treasures in Heaven
v.25- 34 Do Not Worry, Trust God

 

[Notes: Whereas chapter 5 was about aspects of righteous living, all about responding to other, the first half of this chapter is about performing spiritual activities which should not be done for pride or show reasons, while the second half is about trusting God for your physical wellbeing]

 

Part 1: v.1-18 Spirituality before God

 

v.1-4 Give to the Needy – in secret

 

v.1 (don't try looking good to impress people with your giving) “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

v.(do your giving privately) “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

v.3,4 (keep it secret and God will reward you ) But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

 

v.5-18 Keep your spirituality simple and hidden

 

i) Keep your spirituality private

v.5 (similarly when you pray don't do it for show) “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

v.6 (instead talk to your Father in private) But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

v.7 (don't just chatter on, words don't impress Him) And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.

v.8 (your father already knows your needs) Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

 

ii) The so-called ‘Lord's Prayer'

v.9 (address God as your Father) This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

v.10 (pray for His kingdom and will on earth) your kingdom come, your will be done,    on earth as it is in heaven.

v.11 (acknowledge your daily needs) Give us today our daily bread.

v.12 (ask for forgiveness ) And forgive us our debts,   as we also have forgiven our debtors .

v.13 (ask Him to keep you from wrong-doing) And lead us not into temptation,   but deliver us from the evil one.'

v.14  (as you forgive, so you will be forgiven) For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

v.15 (if you don't forgive, it puts a question mark over your relationships with your Father ) But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

iii) Fasting

v.16 (if you do fast, don't do it to impress) “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

v. 17,18 (do it only for God) But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

 

v.19-34 Part 2: Trusting God for Provisions

 

v.19-24 Treasures in Heaven

v.19 (don't store up earthly riches) “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

v.20 (instead store up heavenly riches) But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

v.21(whichever you go for will reveal your heart) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

v.22 (what you allow your eyes to see will determine your inner state) “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.

v.23 (if you view evil it will bring inner darkness) But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

v.24 (God or material possessions, one or the other) “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

 

v.25- 34 Do Not Worry, trust God

 

v.25 (don't focus on and worry about material things, life is more than that) “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?

v.26 (watch the birds who have no cares as God provides for them) 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?

v.27 (can worrying about these things help ) Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

v.28 (worry about being dressed, don't!) “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.

v.29 (not even affluent Solomon was dressed as well as the flowers) Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

v.30 (if God clothes nature won't He more clothe you) 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?

v.31 (so don't worry about your physical needs) So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?' or ‘What shall we drink?' or ‘What shall we wear?'

v.32 (that's what unbelievers do, but Father knows them) For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

v.33 (seek His reign and His will and He's make sure you have the rest) But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

v.34 (don't worry about tomorrow, just cope with today) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.