Thursday, April 3, 2014

Matthew 6

1“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
·         Jesus is going to start a sort of new division in the teachings, He’s going to leave the law behind and talk about how to, and how not to, carry out the commands. Not like the hypocrites, but like the faithful.
·         Pure religion is to take care of the helpless widows and orphans.
·         At first glance this looks harsh, but if we are not doing it for God, then why should we be surprised if He doesn’t reward us?
·         MacArthur links this next section to Matt 5:20, pointing out how their righteousness had to be greater than the Pharisees who worshipped outwardly, but needed to do so inwardly as well.

2Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
·         If your goal with Charity is to honor God with your money then you have no need to draw attention to yourself. Jesus didn’t travel to Rome, do many miracles, then die in the arena with the whole city looking on.
·         We are first introduced to the word hypocrite here, which comes from the Greek actors who played a role they were not. This behavior was in the synagogues and streets where a lot of people were there and could see it.

3But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.
·         Left hand know what the right is doing is a proverbial expression they used.
·         So if you are going to do a good deed for God, then do it for him quietly, to prove that you are doing it for Him only, and He will see it and reward you. See also Proverbs 19:17 “He will repay for the gracious good.”

5“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
·         Similarly to giving to the poor is praying to God. They would conduct prayers only in public, and sought to do it publicly.

6But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
·         The room on the second story, typically on the roof provided a good place for this, as did the inner storage chambers.
·         This says nothing about when to pray, or how often, it just says with what devotion we are to go.

7And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
·         The heathen gods needed to be placated and moved before they would get off the couch and come see to your business. They were like men, in other words. This is what Elijah mocked the prophets of Baal with in 1 Kings 18:26-29.
·         God hears the prayers no matter how short, therefore, do not try His character by assuming He’s not attentive or uncompassionate.

8“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
·         In fact God is so compassionate that He’s been waiting for you to ask it, so He can give it to you. I sometimes will be holding the thing I know my children are about to ask for behind my back, poised to deliver it. The idea is the same.
·         Jesus appeals to God’s omniscience as the grounds for trust in Him.

 9In this manner, therefore, pray:  
·         The prayer is not to be repeated like the hypocrites, or the heathen, just mindlessly over and over, but it’s a model for how we are to understand prayer, considering that Lukes account in 11:2-4 has the substance but not the same form.

 Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
·         Jesus taught them to talk to God as Father, and to remember how Holy He was.

10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
·         The first part of the prayer is to request that God be as glorified on Earth like He is surrounded by the angels.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.
·         A continual acknowledgement of our needs before God. He made us to need food continually to remember that we are weak, frail, and dependent on Him.

12And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
·         The notion here is of sins. We are in debt to God for our sins, we owe Him restitution for our bad conduct.
·         If we do not forgive others we will not be forgiven, an idea that’s going to be picked up in v14.

 13And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.
·         Do not afflict us to try us, or test our faith, but spare us. Do not permit that Satan should sift us like wheat.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.  
·         This is an addition to the text not found in the older manuscripts. It reflects how the Christians ended their prayers, in submission.

14“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
·         When men come and ask for forgiveness you are to say yes. If they don’t you are to treat them kindly, and lovingly, and respectfully nonetheless.
·         The parable of the wicked servant comes to mind here.

16“Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
·         Jesus picks up the thought He left off earlier about praying and giving openly, now he completes the discussion on hypocrisy with this last statement.
·         Fasting is an expression of grief and sorrow. When the body falls ill we naturally fast, and when we are showing God we are sorry for sins we may fast. The hypocrites did it to let people know they are more pious than others. It did them no good toward God.

17But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
·         There were four official fasts for the Jews, but the Pharisees fasted twice a week (Luke 17:12)
·         Jesus says that if you are fasting and doing it for God don’t change into special fasting clothes or put ashes on your head and face to make it obvious. Fasting is a matter of the heart over sin.

19“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
·         One of the more famous verses in the Bible regarding our future. Their idea of wealth was the same as ours, fine clothes, money, precious metals, oil, lands. Anything that could well be displayed made for good wealth.
·         God of course made the moth to eat fine clothes so people won’t be so attached. All things run down and become nothing on this earth.

20but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
·         God protects all of the things we commit to Him.

21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
·         This is the reason attached, we by storing treasure places, are making things comfortable for ourselves. I accrue furniture at my house to build up a comfortable place. My acquisitions are driven by desires.

22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.
·         Jesus will now speak more about the necessity of laying up treasures in heaven. If you want to store things in heaven then fix your eyes on heaven.

23But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
·         If your heart is dark and hostile to God, how great that will be for all aspects of your life. The idea is that we all know how bad blindness is, and if we devote ourselves to the pursuit of earthly things we will stricken our soul with darkness.

24“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
·         Mammon means literally, ‘the riches.’ It has the notion of money, but not completely so. The hypocrites were all servants of mammon, and did not care for God, in fact they despised Him.
·         This is intuitively obvious, if we have to run back and forth between two masters we cannot be serving either of them at the same time. God and the idol of money cannot exist together.

25“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
·         Jesus displayed this utterly. He fully trusted God to take care of His earthly possessions like food and clothes, and He did. Likewise we are not to fret, panic, and worry about the things God is going to provide, because He will provide them.
·         There are four arguments here for trusting in God and not worrying about, or setting your focus on money, the first here, is that life is more than what you eat. If God has given us life and body, then surely He will give us clothes and food.

26Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
·         Birds do not store things up but are continually needing to find food and eat. They are also small and worthless. God knows this, and feeds them still. If they as bad as their situation is and they find favor, should we not also trust God more?
·         God charged Job with answering him if he knew when the young birds were hungry and called out for food.

27Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
·         Or minute to his life. It’s impossible, since we do not support our own life but are utterly held at all times by God.

28“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
·         Even with all his money and fortune Solomon was not able to emulate the flowers of the field.

30Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
·         This is similar to the birds, if you are more valuable than they, and God cares for you, then do not worry.
·         The ovens in those days were a pit in the earth, with stones on the bottom. And you would put grass and twigs into the oven and it would heat the stones on which you would bake your bread.

31“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
·         All of what is key for life is going to be taken care of by God. He will give what is needful, what He sees is best.

32For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
·         The Gentiles only and really care of the bestial things of life. The thing

 33But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
·         Do not worry about your life or possessions, your clothes, but worry about your eternity.
·         God has promised to take care of us, therefore pray to Him, seek Him honestly, and love Him, for the rest of this will come. We are not to pursue like the Mormons wealth and happiness, but to pursue God, and He will give us all things.

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