In this chapter Jesus recognized the three basic needs every man has. Namely clothes, food and medicine. In Jesus’ time the average life expectancy of an individual didn’t exceed 40 years due to sickness and hardships. Continuous supplies of food and clothes were rare and considered a luxury. People were often worried and anxious about how to meet these needs. Then one day Jesus told them to not to worry. He placed three reasons before them.
Text: Matthew 6:25-34
1. Wrong priority
(A) Jesus instructed his followers not to worry about these physical necessities. Very often their entire existence was focused on their needs.
(B) If God has given us life and a body, both admittedly more important than food and clothing will he not give us the latter?
(C) Jesus’ argument. “Isn’t there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing?” There are other important things in life that needs priority.
2. God provides
(A) Birds probably are the least and the cheapest of God’s creation, (Matthew 10:29). Yet God feeds them.
(B) Heating the oven is the most common use for dry grass, even today in some parts of the world. Yet God clothes them with wild flowers every day.
(C) Jesus’ point was simple but sensible. If God takes such good care of less important parts of his creation how much more he will take care of his people.
3. Indicates disbelief
(A) God is already aware of our needs because he is omniscient. He meets the needs of his people on due time.
(B) Pagans don’t trust God for provision. Hence their obsessions lie with acquiring enough daily commodities.
(C) Worry and anxiety are the fruit of little faith. Security is the fruit of faith anchored in God.
Unlike the people in Jesus’ day we are no longer worried about food, clothes or medicine. There’s plenty. Then what makes Jesus’ words relevant to us? How do we understand what was said then and there now and here? If Jesus lived among us today he would have said “Don’t worry about money.”
Jesus told his disciples “But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33). In other words God will bless our finances when we take care of his business.
How do we pursue God’s Kingdom – We contribute to the furtherance of his Kingdom on earth. There are three ways of contribution.
(A) Prayer – that God’s Kingdom will come in the mighty power of the Holy Spirit to save sinners, to destroy the works of Satan, to heal the sick and to magnify the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Matthew 6:10)
(B) Involvement – Spending our God given abilities, skills and other resources for the edification of the church.
(C) Giving – Giving is a way of contributing to God’s Kingdom. Tithing is a good start. It helps to give systematically. (See also, Practical reasons for tithing and Principles of giving). In return God has promised to bless our finances, (Malachi 3:10-12; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
How do we pursue his righteousness – with the aid of the Holy Spirit we must seek to obey the commands of Christ, possess Christ’s righteousness, remain separated from the world and show Christ’s love towards everyone. When we do God will bless our needs. Jesus repeated this principle in John 15:7; 16. (See also, the parable of the vine and the branches)
Lastly worry over tomorrow’s misfortune doesn’t make any sense at all because today has enough to occupy our attention and God has given us grace to meet the needs of that day (Matthew 6:34). This is a repetition of Exodus 16:19. Besides tomorrows feared misfortunes may never happen and today’s grace is sufficient only for today and should not be wasted on tomorrow. If tomorrow does bring new trouble, there will be new grace to meet it. Lets not forget however that Jesus did not mean that it is wrong to make provisions for future physical needs, (2 Corinthians 12:14; 1 Timothy 5:8) What he did forbid is anxiety and or worry that shows a lack of faith in God’s fatherly care and love.