For while we were yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly. Rom. 5,6



Matthew 6:24-34

   24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other You cannot serve God and wealth. The Cure for Anxiety 25 "For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 "Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 "And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 "And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 "But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 "Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' 32 "For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Do not worry!

   First of all we have to stop a moment to see who Jesus is speaking about here. This is a passage which is probably misused often, coming from a word which is in Matthew 5:45: “- so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
   He does not treat people different, but have in this world given us all that we need to in our daily living – yes, more! But that does not mean that no one needs to worry. For even if this world is rich enough for all of us, it consists also in what the the apostle John testifies about, in the power of the evil one (1 John 5:19), and is therefore full of injustice, oppression, fraudulent preference (and therefore crooked dispersion), strong capitalistic forces etc.
   The one who doesn’t have reason to worry, is the one who seeks the kingdom of God and His righteousness first. (v33). And all things shall be added unto you! And we shall notice the word added, in the passage here, otherwise the scriptures content goes right by us – because it is so “unreasonable” what Jesus is teaching here.

   Maybe that's why I have personally, never heard it in a sermon, what Jesus in fact is saying here.
   One reacts spontaneous towards it. In the same way as many reacted to Paul, when he preached: “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Rom.5:20).
   Yes but, then we can just keep on sinning with full premeditation, it was said. And doesn’t Paul also say: “There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil?” (Rom.2:9).
   They show by this that they can’t grasp – are strangers – for the Spirit of grace and its effect, and will close the way into “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.” (2 Cor. 1:3), for you who walk there so anxious and down trodden of your many and coarse sins. As if you would weaken a man’s loathing towards the wickedness and impurity, by God’s exuberant grace towards it!

   “Unreasonableness” for our natural thought and emotion towards sinners, makes us close, or constrict, this open embrace for them. But you shall know that from Paul’s, Jesus own and all of the Scriptures entire testimony that nothing can close up for you who actually comes! So come! – Even how unreasonable you may think this is.

   The same “constriction” we are so easily guilty of, towards this passage.
   Paul has said: ”If anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.” (2 Thess.3:10). Yes, this is an ideal. It’s only fair, but don’t you know that someone toils with their comfort and native sluggishness before God, the same way you toil with your certain weakness and burden. You know yourself what it is! This is maybe one of the heaviest burdens to toil with, when it meets such contempt, and have such little understanding among most people.

   Jesus knows His believers, those who are of the truth, and therefore so often anxious and worried, especially by seeing themselves, and therefore gets thoughts like: Can God…when I am as I am? With my indolence! I’m one of those who gets going so slow among others.
   It would be natural for us to operate with a whip and threats and “rating,” which means – the whip of the law!
   Jesus has a completely different way here – He who has come to loosen the slave of his slave bond.

   When Jesus speaks of these birds, the lilies and the grass that God gives birth to and dresses, it is a principal point (He makes a point of, as we say) to make it clear that they don’t work, don’t strive, don’t sow, don’t reap, don’t harvest, don’t gather and don’t spin.
   If you don’t see this, you miss the principal content in the passage here, and you're sitting left – not with what Jesus is actually saying, but with what you mean that He says. With what you think is reasonable that He says.
   But God gives birth and dresses them none the less! This is pure grace preaching!

   It is indeed right for us to work, but God gives from grace! God does not give for your efforts sake, but only because He loves you who belong to Jesus!

   We also find a word in the Old Testament that underlines this; in Psalm 127 we read about the difference in those who have handed over to God to build the house, and those who strive with this themselves: “It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.”
   Do you now see what a wonderful message Jesus is preaching here? “With wonder I see that I am free!”
   And again, who is it that stands in this position? The one who seeks God’s kingdom and His righteousness first! And notice! – It doesn’t say: Who seeks to encourage God’s kingdom and His righteousness first – but the one who seeks it first, for his own good! And who does that?
   Let us ask a few other questions first: Who seeks a doctor first? Who seeks food first? Who seeks water first? The answers are evident!
   To see who they are, those who seeks the kingdom of God and His righteousness first, we must know what this righteousness and this kingdom is. And we will do that just briefly: In Matthew 12:28, Jesus says to the Jews: “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” And by the prophet Jeremiah it says – when he prophesies about the coming Messiah (Christ) in Jer.33:16: “And this is the name by which she will be called: the LORD is our righteousness.”
   It is simply Jesus, as our deliverer, healing, righteousness – yes, everything!

   Who seeks this first, if not the one who is hurting?

   But at the same time this passage contains a serious warning to us. Because who say that they are completely free for nutritious grieving? This need to “secure himself,” by the help of economical means.
   This is the secure way to a life full of worry, where one ends up thirsting to death, even if the well is full.
   About this Paul says among others in 1 Tim.6:10: “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many grief’s.”
   This drive after riches is probably in most cases, something far above than just a wish for pleasure. It is more about a need to “secure himself,” and contains therefore a refusal from God as the one who is capable to take care of us.

   This is the service of mammon, and collides immediately with the kingdom of God and its completely different values.
   When Jesus says: “No one can serve two masters,” He means exactly that: No one! Not even you!

   Standing before this the servant of mammon will soon feel aggravation, and with that confirm Jesus word further on in v.24.

   This is how the one who has his eyes opened, and found his riches in God, on his side feel contempt to this “indulgment” of earthly riches – as he knows what it is worth at the end.

   But we experience also today, spiritual movements who claims to be God’s people (often before others!), but who far above than to preach the crucified and suffering Christ, god fear with moderation among others preaching exactly the joy of mammon made for us almost unlimited by God’s help, and paradise looking, worry free life in this world. It is about performing enough faith, then God will obey us.

   Hear what Jesus is saying her: “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things” v.32. God knows – as we also do – that we need this. (v.32). But what are you focused on?
   Jesus has promised us who take our refuge in Him – completely without any conditions – and you may hold it before Him – that He will be with us all the days of our lives, till the end (Matt. 28:20), and that His (our) heavenly Father, will see to all that we need as long as we are here. But He has not promised us a worry free life, but says, exactly to His own: “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (v.34b)


New American Standard Version
Translator:Benedicte H.Smart