Matthew Chapter 6 Continued
Verse 22-23: The “light of the body is associated with the “eye”. The concept here is based on the ancient idea that the eyes were the windows through which light entered the body. If the eyes were in good condition the body could receive such light. Jesus, using this language metaphorically, affirms that if a man’s spiritual sight is healthy and his affections directed toward heavenly treasure, his whole personality will be without blemish.
Matthew 6:22-23 “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” “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!”
The analogy is simple. If your eye is bad, no light can come in and you are left with darkness because of that malady. How much worst when the problem is not merely related to external perception, but an internal corruption of one’s whole nature, so that the darkness actually emanates from within and affects one’s whole being.
Jesus was indicting them for their superficial earthly religion that left their hearts dark.
The phrase “if … thine eye be single” indicates devotion to one purpose. The “single eye” refers to a single, fixed vision or goal. The phrase “if thine eye be evil” refers to either disease or deception of vision.
The “evil eye” is not something mysterious or devilish, but rather a deceptive vision that causes the viewer to mistake the identity of an object. The mistake in this context is the darkening of the mind and thus “how great is that darkness!”
I have always believed that you can look into a person’s eyes and see what is in his soul. When we are filled with the Light of Jesus Christ; this Light shows in our eyes.
Luke 11:34-36 “The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when [thine eye] is evil, thy body also [is] full of darkness.” “Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.” “If thy whole body therefore [be] full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.”
The eyes tell so much about a person. If a person cannot look at you when he is talking to you, he is, probably, not perfectly honest.
When a person has heavily blood-shot eyes, he is sick, or has lost a great deal of sleep. You see, the eyes reveal a great deal about us. Jesus is the Light of the world. If Jesus lives within us, His Light should be evident in our eyes.
Matthew 6:24 “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.”
“Mammon”: Wealth, earthly, material treasures, especially money.
This kind of spiritual double vision causes one to believe he can “serve two masters.” Total loyalty to God cannot be divided between Him and loyalty to one’s material possessions. A master (Greek Kurios), is a lord or an owner. That God claims total lordship over His own is obvious in this passage.
Therefore, Jesus rightly proclaimed, “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” The term “Mammon” is derived from the Aramaic term for possessions or wealth. Jesus is not condemning money or possessions in and of themselves, but the improper attitude of enslavement toward wealth.
This Scripture tells us that we cannot be worldly and serve God. We cannot follow God and Satan at the same time. God has been showing me, in recent weeks, that Jesus wants 100 per cent of our loyalty.
God will not allow worldly things to be a part of our lives and still belong to him. When we are truly saved, we do not have the desire in our hearts to do the old things anymore. We are new creatures, “old things are passed away: behold all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Matthew 6:25 “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?”
Jesus now deals with the equally dangerous tendency of those who have few possessions: worry! “Take no thought” (Greek me merimnao), means “Do not be anxious.” This word means to be so disturbed about material needs that we distrust God and are distracted from faithfully doing His will.
Anxious care is the direct opposite of faith. Therefore, even the poor are not to worry needlessly about what they should eat, drink, or wear. The question “Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” indicates that inner mental stability must come from the spirit of man and not from outward physical provisions.
To set one’s heart on material possessions or to worry about the lack of them is to live in perpetual insecurity and to deprive oneself of the spiritual blessings of God.
Verses 26-32: Jesus illustrates His point by referring to objects in nature that were immediately at hand, the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. The key point of this passage is found in the phrases “Are ye not much better than they?” verse 30.
The bible clearly teaches that God is the Creator and sustainer of nature. Worry and anxiety are related to the length of one’s life in the phrase “add one cubit unto his stature.” A cubit is a measurement of 18 inches. However, this reference is probably not to one’s actual height but to the length of his life.
The term “stature” (Greek helikia) may mean “age.” Thus the idea seems to be that a man cannot add the smallest measure to the span of his life by worrying. This state of anxiety is related to having “little faith (verse 30). Faith is total confidence in the provision of God.
Matthew 6:26 “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?”
“Your heavenly Father feedeth them”: Obviously this in no way advocates a sinful kind of idleness (Prov. 19:15). Birds are not idle, either. But it is God who provides them with food to eat.
Matthew 6:27-31 “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” “And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:” “And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, [shall he] not much more [clothe] you, O ye of little faith?” “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?”
“O ye of little faith”: This was the Lord’s recurring rebuke of the weak disciples 8:26; 14:31, 16:8; 17:20)
In these verses above, Jesus was trying to tell us that we should not be concerned about material things. Fear is lack of faith.
When God told Abraham to leave Ur of the Chaldees and go to a land He had never seen, Abraham did not question how he would make a living. He knew if God told him to go, that God would provide for him.
When a person is called to the ministry, it seems the first thing that happens is you are out of money. God wants us to realize that He is our source.
All the care and planning that we do can be wiped out with one market crash. We have to finally depend on God, anyway. Why not just start out that way and save time?
In Psalms 37, God said He will take care of the righteous.
Psalms 37:25-29 “I have been young, and [now] am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” “[He is] ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed [is] blessed.”
Psalms 37:2-29 “For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.” “The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.”
God’s plan has always been to bless the believers not just spiritually, but financially, as well. We just need to trust God completely. Work diligently and expect miracles. The main word in this is TRUST. It goes beyond faith. The Scriptures, in Matthew above (25-31), are positive statements letting us know that God cares about our needs.
In (Luke 12:31), we see what we must do to have our needs met.
Luke 12:31-32 “But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.” “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
Matthew 6:32 “(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.”
When it speaks of “Gentiles”, it is speaking of worldly people, i.e., those outside the people of promise and outside the blessing of God (Eph. 4:17-19). The people of the world are seeking wealth and fame in this life, and take no thought for the hereafter.
The Word of God says that God knows the desires of our hearts even before we pray. God knows our needs; and if we put God first, and work, and do our very best, and not worry or fret, God will see that our needs are met.
In John we read “Let not your heart be troubled”. (John 14:1).
It is an act of faith not to worry or be troubled. Throughout the Bible, God had blessed his people, Noah, Abraham, David, and Solomon. Lot, after he passed through tribulation was blessed abundantly. God takes care of His own.
Verses 33-34: This portion of the Sermon on the Mount is summarized by the statement “seek ye first the kingdom of God.” The disciples who have pledged their allegiance to the King must continue seeking the kingdom and its righteousness. The present imperative form of the verb (Greek zeteo) indicates a continual or constant seeking.
The contrast between the spiritual and the material is again emphasized. The believer is to seek first the righteousness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom and then “all these things” (material things), shall be added to him. When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides.
We need not even worry about tomorrow, for “sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (verse 34). This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled, without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.
Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
“The kingdom”: This is the same as the kingdom of heaven. It refers to the sphere of salvation. Jesus was urging them to seek salvation – and with it would come the full care and provision of God (Rom. 8:32; Phil. 4:19; 1 Peter 5:7).
Matthew 6:34 “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.”
One story in the Bible stands out to me so vividly in this. In (Luke chapter 12), we read about a rich man who had an abundant crop. So much, he had no place to store his food. He pulled his small barns down and built bigger barns. He said to his soul, take it easy, I have much stored for the future; just eat, drink, and be merry.
He was rich to himself, and not to God. He died that very night. You see, we do not know whether we will have tomorrow. Prepare for heaven, and earth will take care of itself.
Matthew Chapter 6 Continued Questions
1. What is the light of the body?
2. What makes your body full of light
3. If your eye is evil, what is your body full of?
4. What is my belief about looking into the eyes? What can you see?
5. What chapter in Luke verifies what we have learned here in verses 22 and 23?
6. Matthew 6:24 tells us, no man can serve whom? (2)
7. In verse 25, we are told 3 things to take no thought for. what are they?
8. What are a few sins God will not allow in our lives?
9. What are two things God told us to compare and see how foolish it is to worry?
10. What is fear?
11. Who is our source?
12. In the 37th chapter of Psalms, what does God say about His own?
13. Why did I tell you to read Psalms 37?
14. What is the main word in this?
15. If ye seek the kingdom of God first, what happens?
16. Should we plot and plan for the future here on earth?
17. What kind of a man is described in Luke 12?
18. When he had all the extra food, did he give the access to the poor?
19. What did he say to his soul?
20. What happened to him?
21. What should we prepare for?
22. What will take care of itself?