Last week we looked at Jesus’ teaching of the Law as it pertains to Worship. How we are to be about good works, prayer, and fasting. Jesus commands His audience not to lay up treasures for themselves on earth. Our focus is NOT to be earthly prosperity, for it is temporary. Instead, our focus is to be on treasures in Heaven. Over the past several weeks as we’ve studied Matthew, it should be abundantly clear that any notion of pleasing God by keeping the Law is futile and presumptuous. No man born in sin has a hope of maintaining the righteousness of God by avoiding sin. Jesus begins transitioning into more and more Gospel preaching. We know that before the cross, a veil remained over their understanding, and even His own disciples failed to grasp the full Gospel until after Jesus revealed Himself to them after the resurrection.
It isn’t up to You
As we close out Matthew Chapter 6, we see Jesus offering encouragement to those who are being killed by the work of the Law on their hearts. Everyone who heard His words were dead in sins and trespasses and were being shown their sin in the authoritative preaching of the Law by the very Word of God made flesh, Jesus Christ.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious 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? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Therefore… Therefore what? Well, they were totally, and utterly sinful men, completely separated from and unworthy of God. They were told to worship God in secret, not looking to men for recognition and not even looking to God for earthly reward; rather, they were to worship God laying up treasures in Heaven. They have no power on their own to affect their daily lives, and they were not to focus on earthly vindication, riches, or the praise of men. Therefore, do not be anxious about your life. The Gospel side of the “you are powerless” coin is that you serve a God who is able, where you are not. He is mighty in your weakness. His Goodness makes everything else evil by comparison. King Solomon was wisest man to live, and was blessed with all manner of earthly riches. Let’s look at one of his Psalms.
A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.
1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
God gives His beloved sleep. God watches over His people, not because they’ve earned it, but because He Loves them. And because He loved us, God sent His Son to pay the penalty of our sin, so that by His blood, we might be reconciled to Him.
Until Next Week…
I will be doing some traveling next week, but I hope to have posts ready up to Gospel Wednesday, where we will close out the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 7 and skip ahead the following week to Christ’s finished work on the cross leading into Easter weekend.
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Amen. In Christ Jesus,