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Matthew 6

August 29, 2006

It’s official, this is my favorite chapter.  It’s the chapter I was reading the hour I first believed in February of 1986.  And when I read it again last Thursday, I perceived the unity of the chapter as never before.  You’re probably going to need an open Bible to follow this.

The first half of the chapter is about living for the “reward” of the Father (see vv. 1,2,4,5,6,16,18) The second half of the chapter tells us to lay up for ourselves “treasure” in heaven.  That’s pretty much the same thing.  Duh, right?  I hadn’t seen it before.

I noticed a few other connections.  In 6:22 Jesus tells us that our eye needs to be “single”, and in verse 24 he tells us that we can’t serve “two” masters.   So having a “single” eye means an eye fixed on things above, an eye fixed on the heavenly reward, not earthly reward, and eye fixed on God, not money.

Then when Jesus teaches us at the end of the chapter not to be anxious, he tells us that the Gentiles search after food and clothing, but our Father knows our needs, just as he said up in verse 7 that we should not pile up empty phrases in prayer like the Gentiles do because our Father knows our needs.  

And in verse 33 he tells us to seek first God’s kingdom, as he told us to pray in verse 10 for God’s kingdom to come.  So in one sentence the unified message of the chapter is…

You write it.  An earthly reward, a corruptible treasure, for the best entry.  Game on! 

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 29, 2006 11:24 am

    In the same sermon, we’re told to not be anxious while being told that we have to be more righteous than the Pharisees. There seems to be a tension between Ch. 5 and Ch. 6. How can I expect to be rewarded by God if my righteousness is not even close to the Pharisees? And so, the idea here is the same as Romans 5, without Jesus saying it quite as explicitly.

    My stab at this would be:

    By fulfilling the Law and the Prophets (for us, from Ch. 5), Jesus introduces us to a whole new kingdom marked by life and peace with God who rewards us and provides for us.

  2. Susan Visser permalink
    September 15, 2006 8:30 pm

    Having camped out in Matthew 6 and 7 for the last couple of weeks, here is my summary:
    Secretly pursue the Father
    Purposely pursue his Kingdom
    Peacefully rest in his Provision

    But you asked for one sentence:
    Seek your heavenly Father in secret; pray for his kingdom to come, and all these other things will be yours as well.

  3. September 16, 2006 7:51 am

    Thanks Susan!

    Welcome to the blog!

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