Matthew 6:25-34 (Do Not Be Anxious)

Mat 6:25        What does “For this reason” in Mat 6:25 refer to?  I.e., for what reason ought we to not be anxious about the daily necessities of our life?  See Mat 6:19-24.  What is the natural tendency of man’s fallen nature in regard to storing up treasures on earth to provide for his temporal needs, and what emotions are evoked by Jesus’ command to the contrary?  Are we to understand Jesus’ words, “take no thought for your life” (KJV) to mean that it is wrong to even think about our temporal needs or plan ahead for them?  Note: our word “thought” in old English meant care, concern, worry, anxiety, as it is properly translated by the more modern versions; cf. also Pro 6:6-11, 24:30-34, 30:24-25.  What is wrong that Jesus is addressing in these verses?  What is the answer to Jesus’ question in Mat 6:25?  Cf. Mat 6:31-32; what evidence do we find that people here in America have become increasingly obsessed with food, drink, and their personal appearance[1]?  How is the root cause of this obsession different from the anxious concern in the immediate context, and yet related to the storing up of treasures on earth in the greater context?  See Luk 12:19, 1Co 15:32, and cf. Rom 14:17.  What is the inevitable result for those who store up treasures on earth when the economic climate changes and their fortunes with it? How is that different for those whose treasures are in heaven?  How does a reminder of the answer to Jesus’ question in this verse help temper both our worries for temporal needs, and that within us that seeks peace, security and happiness in an abundance of possessions?  See also Mat 16:26, Luk 12:15.

Mat 6:26-34 What two illustrations from nature does Jesus give in these verses as to why we ought not to be anxious about our temporal needs?  What is the answer to Jesus’ question in Mat 6:26?  Consider how the answer to this question contrasts with the modern humanistic view that man is not of inherently greater worth than other living things (see also 10:29-31, 12:12); in what ways has this degrading notion manifested itself in public policies that have been harmful to man and caused him to suffer?[2]  What does this teach us about the importance of having a proper Biblical worldview and understanding of the nature of man in relation to the rest of creation?  What does Mat 6:27 teach us about the length of our days and the humanistic pursuit to extend men’s lives indefinitely?  Cf. Gen 3:22-24, Psa 39:4-5.  From what anxious worries and cares that consume those of the world does a proper Biblical worldview and understanding of our mortality deliver us?  In what emotional, physical, and financial ways do those who do not have a proper understanding of our mortality suffer needlessly?[3]  What concern in regard to clothing does Jesus seem to be addressing in Mat 6:28-30: clothing as a necessary protective covering, or one’s physical appearance as it relates to clothing?  For what reason are men and women typically concerned about their clothing and physical appearance?  Cf. Jam 2:2-3.  In what way does the natural beauty of a flower illustrate the beauty with which God desires to array us?  Cf. 1Ti 2:8-10, 1Pe 3:3-6.  How does such beauty compare with even the most splendid apparel of the world?  See Mat 6:29.  What does “much more” in Mat 6:30 teach us about God’s desire for and willingness to effect beauty in our lives?  Why is that?  See Eph 5:26-27, Rev 19:7-8, 21:2.  Does His desire and willingness to clothe us with the natural beauty of our  new creation also hold promise that He will provide us appropriate physical covering as well?  See Mat 6:33.

Mat 6:31-34 What does this summary that repeats much of what Jesus has already said in the previous verses teach us about our needless tendency to worry about temporal things?  What does such anxious concern teach us about our misplaced priorities?  See Luk 10:38-42.  To whom does Jesus refer as Gentiles in Mat 6:32?  Cf. Rom 2:28-29.  Are we “true Jews” in this regard, or Gentiles?



[1] Think: food advertisements offering 10 for $10 as an enticement to buy more, steady increase in per capita calorie consumption as well as heart disease, diabetes, and other weight related illnesses; the huge beverage industry, whether it be soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, or power drinks; the apparel and cosmetic industries, name brand clothing, etc…

[2] Think animal rights and abortion rights, the environmental movement, banning of DDT, etc…

[3] Consider how much people spend in the medical and insurance industries in order to extend their lives.

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