MATTHEW 6:19-34  


MATTHEW 6:19-34

Detail of life humility

Verses 19-24 Orientation to surplus details

(For background, See Topic: DETAILS OF LIFE)

Verse 19a

1. Do not lay up: thesauridzo means simply to lay aside in storage. What is thus stored is considered to be valuable and thus we have the idea of treasure. The present active imperative gives a divine mandate for living. However, the mandate is not designed to prohibit any kind of storage, but rather an occupation with details of life to the neglect of spiritual responsibilities. It also has in view the idea of placing confidence on these material things which have no lasting value, instead of placing one's confidence in God's character and plan, which stores up in heaven divine good production which will in turn be rewarded as that which ultimately pleases and glorifies God.

2. for yourselves: emphasis on pursuit of that which benefits self in the opinion of self.

3. treasures: thesauros - actually, possessions in general.

4. upon the earth: qualifies the type of possessions as material things, which one thinks that by hoarding, he can find some kind of security for himself. The things hoarded in this manner, would be valuable clothing and jewels.

5. This pursuit indicates placing greater value on the things of the world than on the things of the kingdom of God.
At James 4:4, it is called friendship with the world.


Verse 19b, indication that these possessions are temporal and can provide no real stability or satisfaction in life.

1. Where moth destroys: the luxury items of clothing can provide no real happiness because such happiness depends on the stability of the clothing which is fragile.

2. And rust destroys: the luxury items of jewelry can provide no real happiness as their stability, is fragile.

3. And thieves steal: the security of luxury items is also quite fragile, as they can easily be taken from you by someone with greater power than you have.

4. Now this does not mean that you can not possess material things, but the issue is, the kind of value that you place on them when it comes to spiritual decisions.

a. The pursuit of Spiritual growth and Service.

b. The maintaining of fellowship when you encounter a loss of these details, or an attack on the comfort zone that exists through possessing of the various details involved.


Verse 20 The alternate to friendship with the world

1. But lay up for yourselves treasures: same construction except, in heaven, is used to indicate the quality of treasures that are in view.

a. Indicates a recognition that spiritual things have greater value than material things.

b. Spiritual things are not subject to the damaging effects of the world because they are governed by Divine laws.

2. The same principle is stated by Paul at Colossians 3:1-3, "set your mind on heavenly things."


Verse 21

1. for: gar, explains the need to place maximum value on spiritual things.

2. Where your treasure is: where you place greatest value.

3. There will your heart be: dedication, devotion and faithfulness

4. And IF your dedication is to material things, your soul will be blinded to spiritual truth and value. You will make choices that compromise spiritual value and compromise your responsibility to serve God as an Ambassador for truth.


Verse 22 Illustration of spiritual blindness

1. The lamp of the body is the eye:

a. The source of visible perception is the eye, and indeed, most perceptive ability is based on eyesight.

b. So the whole body relates to the world around you by the eyesight.

c. This corresponds to the heart: The heart is the lamp to the soul.

d. The soul relates to spiritual phenomena through the heart.


2. If the eye is clear: This is a 3rd class condition of potential.

a. haplous means simple, genuine, open, single, healthy.

1. If it is healthy it is able to perform its enlightening function in regard to the physical world.

2. If it is single in its focus so that it receives and processes information, the body benefits.

b. your whole body will be filled with light: That is, your body will be able to interrelate with the visible world around you.

c. And if your heart is healthy, that is, focused on the single genuine object of spiritual value, then the soul will be filled with light and able to interrelate with all the facets of spiritual truth.


Verse 23

1. But if your eye is bad: poneros, is the word for infectious evil, but it is used to indicate a physically diseased condition in the body. If the eye is diseased then it is non functional and the whole body will live in darkness

2. And if the heart is poneros, diseased or evil in its focus, then the soul will have no capacity to recognize spiritual value and be unable to interrelate with truth.

3. Therefore, IF: This time it is a 1st class condition of assumed reality, which recognizes that if the POTENTIAL of evil exists then the resultant negative REALITY will be in effect - a condition of spiritual darkness in the soul.

4. The light that is in you: indicates the possibility of operating on a viewpoint or set of standards that you think is light as at I John 1:6, "if we say that we have fellowship with Him, and yet walk in darkness. . . "

Isaiah 5:20, Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

5. is darkness your premise for relating to spiritual reality, indeed even physical reality, is actually darkness.

6. Then how great is that darkness: This is because of I Jn. 2:11.
The greatness of the darkness is measured by its affect.

a. walks in darkness: peripateo - present active indicative.
b. knows not where he is going -

1. ouk oida: Perfect active indicative
2. where (pou) he is going: hupago (present act. indicative).

c. Blindness has blinded his eyes: tuphloo - aorist act. indic.
d. And at John 11:9-10, he stumbles through life.


Verse 24 The eye must have a single dedicated focus

1. no one can serve:

a. has ability: dunamai as a present middle indicative communicates an absolute principle, that no one is able to serve equally, two opposing entities.

b. to serve: douleuo (present active infinitive).

2. two masters: The word for master is kurios (lord) and refers to the one whom you answer to; the one who commands your allegiance, devotion, respect and love.

a. The two masters refers to spiritual value vs. material value.

b. These two are mutually exclusive.

c. You cannot give equal devotion to the pursuit of earthly pleasure, which serves the lusts of the sin nature, and to the pursuit of truth, which serves the plan of God.

3. for either he will hate one and love the other (miseo vs. agapao) The issue of dedication to and pursuit of benefit for.

4. He will hold to one and despise the other:

a. hold to: antecho (future active indicative) communicates dedication. The word means to hold down or ONTO.

b. despise: kataphroneo means to think down or against and indicates mental attitude antagonism.

5. Light and darkness are mutually exclusive.

a. 1 John 1:5
b. John 3:19-21

6. You cannot serve:

a. you are not able -present middle indicative of dunamai.
b. to serve: douleuo - present active infinitive.
That is, place maximum value on the one served.

7. God: theos - reference to the plan and viewpoint of God

8. And mamonas - possessions, wealth

a. Luke 9:57-62
b. Luke 14:15-27

9. Now by way of application, surplus details include ANYTHING that is not necessary to sustain one's physical life. This then, would include family and friends, which is exactly what Jesus addressed at Matthew 10:34-39. He who loves OTHERS more than Jesus is not expressing true devotion to Him and is not worthy to be called a disciple. IN fact, in another setting, Jesus emphasized this with hyperbole when he said, "unless one HATES" these others, "he cannot be my disciple." Now of course, this does not mean that we are to hate others, but by way of comparison, when it comes down to the promotion of spiritual values, our love for Christ should be so fine-tuned, that it would appear as though we hated others, because we give Him most of the attention.


Verses 25-34 Orientation to necessity details

Verse 25

1. For this reason: because details of life in general CAN distract from spiritual value (Luke 21:34).

a. Surplus details can dominate your life.
b. Necessity details can overwhelm you.
c. Drugs and alcohol can destroy your volitional capacity.

2. Do not worry: present active imperative of merimnao + the negative.
The emphasis is on the continuous expression of worry and can be understood as either -

a. Do not be worrying.
b. or STOP worrying.

3. about your life: This refers to normal human needs which are identified in the context as food, drink and clothing (shelter).

4. Is not life more than: pleiwn -indicates value and priority.

a. There is more to life than food and clothing.
b. This is explained by verse 33 and amplified at Rom. 14:7-8.


Verses 26-30 Examples from nature to indicate God's grace in providing necessity details for the trusting believer.

Verse 26 BIRDS

1. Feeding animals through the function of the laws of nature is totally under God's control (Psalm 104:24-28).

2. Birds are non-volitional creatures who have no part or impact in resolving the angelic conflict.

3. Mankind, and specifically the believer does have a part in that conflict, so has greater value in the Divine plan than birds.

4. Thus, if God takes care of the birds, how much more - you.


Verse 27 The sovereignty factor

1. And: now (de) - lets get back to your soul.

2. Which one of you by worrying: present active participle.

3. can add a single cubit: 18 inches - standard term of linear measurement. We would say a single foot, or even an inch. However, the focus is not on SIZE, but on length of TIME.

4. to his life's span? the length of the life as to time. Outside the New Testament, the word cubit is used for spiritual growth as well as measuring time. A common phrase is "for only a cubit of time."


Verses 28-29 PLANTS

1. And why are you worried: present active indicative
This appeals to Divine logic using the examples from nature.

2. about clothing: This is another necessity detail. But remember, necessity is a human concept not Divine.

3. observe the flowers of the field: krinon is used for wild flowers in general as verse 30 indicates.

4. They don't work for their adornment.

5. Yet even Solomon's glory must take a back seat to the beauty of the flowers.


Verse 30 application

1. The grass of the field is simply discarded by man.

2. Yet God gives it more beauty than man can produce.

3. And again the principle that the plants have no bearing on the angelic conflict, but man does.

4. Therefore, will he not do much more for you? (polus mallon)

5. O men of little faith: oligopistos is a term that indicates failure to take the Truth of God's character and plan and apply it to the realities of life.



Verses 31-34 conclusion

Verse 31

1. Do not worry then: aorist active subjunctive + me (negative) to emphasize that NOT at any point of time; not ever, should the believer be worried about these things.

2. food, drink, clothing - necessity details.


Verse 32a first reason not to worry

It is characteristic of the unbelieving world.

1. for all these things: necessity details

2. the Gentiles: emphasis on unbelieving status.

3. eagerly seek: present active indicative of epizeteo, which indicates a continuous pursuit in a frantic search for comfort and happiness.


Verse 32b second reason not to worry

God knows our needs and is in control.

1. for your heavenly Father: emphasis on relationship

2. knows: perfect active indicative of oida refers to internalized knowledge that becomes part of one's character. In God's case it is inherent knowledge based on omniscience. We thus recognize that God is fully aware of all our needs and makes provision for them according to his own standards of promoting Truth in the world.

3. that you need: chredzo (need) indicates that the subject is necessity details.

4. of these things: the necessity details of the context.


Verse 33 Final point of focus

1. But seek: Zeteo as a present active imperative, indicates an active and diligent pursuit of something.

2. The word FIRST (prwtos), indicates top priority in life.

3. The kingdom: refers to the kingdom of God which is the viewpoint and influence of light in the world.


4. and his righteousness: The Divine character standards in both spiritual and moral areas.

5. Thus, this pursuit is to promote these things first in your own life and then in the world around you.

a. spiritual growth: 2 Pet. 3:18; 1 Pet. 2:1-2; 2 Tim. 2:15
b. witnessing: Luke 9:60

6. And all these things: necessity details - not surplus.

7. shall be added: prostithemi, means to place at the face of someone. The future passive indicative assures us that we can trust in God's timing and wisdom in providing what we need to sustain our physical life as we serve Him here on this earth.

8. But we need to have the humility understanding of God's plan and the patience to trust Him and His timing even if it means suffering depravity at times.


Verse 34

1. Therefore, do not worry: merimnao as an aorist active subjunctive + me indicates NOT AT ANY TIME - EVER. Compare with verse 25, where the present active imperative is used.

a. Present tense: do not be worrying or even STOP worrying.
b. Aorist tense: Do not worry at any time.

2. about tomorrow: the detail necessities of food and shelter.

3. for tomorrow will care for itself: future active indicative of merimnao means that tomorrow worries about itself and does not need your help. In other words, you have no control over tomorrow and should simply wait until it arrives to deal with its pressures.

a. God is in control of tomorrow

b. God will determine whether you even have a tomorrow. James 4:15

c. This does not mean that you cannot THINK or even PLAN about the future, but it means that you should be maintaining an attitude of trust toward God concerning the resources that He has currently provided for you. If your planning is characterized by worrisome stress about whether you will have enough, etc., then this is a failure to trust in God. Such activity keeps you out of fellowship with God and denies you the quality of life which is characterized by peace and joy.


4. Each day ---: The corrected translation is, sufficient to the day is its evil.

5. sufficient: arketos is an adjective that means enough.

6. to the day: This refers to each particular day of your life with specific focus on the one facing you in the present and the one immediately following.

7. Is its evil: kakia refers to that which causes harm or has the potential for harm based on how you handle the situations.

a. Today is filled with darkness viewpoint and influence from all the sources; world, flesh and the Devil.

b. Just the normal needs of life provide potential for worry and stress and an occasion to focus inwardly instead of on God.

c. No need to contribute to it by getting out of fellowship through worry and allowing the sin nature to control you.

d. same thing about tomorrow. No need to contribute to the potential of evil's influence by letting the sin nature control and dictate whether you will be happy or miserable.

In any and every situation apply the doctrine of FAITH REST and commit your concerns to the character and plan of God. Philippians 4:6-7

"Be worrying about nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication
with grace contentment (thanksgiving), let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God which surpasses all (human) thinking,
shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." (BFT)

Questions and comments are always welcome

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