Matthew 6* Against hypocrisy in almsgiving. (1-4) Against hypocrisy inprayer. (5-8) How to pray. (9-15) Respecting fasting. (16-18)Evil of being worldly-minded. (19-24) Trust in God commended.(25-34)1-4 Our Lord next warned against hypocrisy and outward show inreligious duties. What we do, must be done from an inwardprinciple, that we may be approved of God, not that we may bepraised of men. In these verses we are cautioned againsthypocrisy in giving alms. Take heed of it. It is a subtle sin;and vain-glory creeps into what we do, before we are aware. Butthe duty is not the less necessary and excellent for beingabused by hypocrites to serve their pride. The doom Christpasses, at first may seem a promise, but it is their reward; notthe reward God promises to those who do good, but the rewardhypocrites promise themselves, and a poor reward it is; they didit to be seen of men, and they are seen of men. When we takeleast notice of our good deeds ourselves, God takes most noticeof them. He will reward thee; not as a master who gives hisservant what he earns, and no more, but as a Father who givesabundantly to his son that serves him. 5-8 It is taken for granted that all who are disciples ofChrist pray. You may as soon find a living man that does notbreathe, as a living Christian that does not pray. Ifprayerless, then graceless. The Scribes and Pharisees wereguilty of two great faults in prayer, vain-glory and vainrepetitions. "Verily they have their reward;" if in so great amatter as is between us and God, when we are at prayer, we canlook to so poor a thing as the praise of men, it is just that itshould be all our reward. Yet there is not a secret, suddenbreathing after God, but he observes it. It is called a reward,but it is of grace, not of debt; what merit can there be inbegging? If he does not give his people what they ask, it isbecause he knows they do not need it, and that it is not fortheir good. So far is God from being wrought upon by the lengthor words of our prayers, that the most powerful intercessionsare those which are made with groanings that cannot be uttered.Let us well study what is shown of the frame of mind in whichour prayers should be offered, and learn daily from Christ howto pray. 9-15 Christ saw it needful to show his disciples what mustcommonly be the matter and method of their prayer. Not that weare tied up to the use of this only, or of this always; yet,without doubt, it is very good to use it. It has much in alittle; and it is used acceptably no further than it is usedwith understanding, and without being needlessly repeated. Thepetitions are six; the first three relate more expressly to Godand his honour, the last three to our own concerns, bothtemporal and spiritual. This prayer teaches us to seek first thekingdom of God and his righteousness, and that all other thingsshall be added. After the things of God's glory, kingdom, andwill, we pray for the needful supports and comforts of thispresent life. Every word here has a lesson in it. We ask forbread; that teaches us sobriety and temperance: and we ask onlyfor bread; not for what we do not need. We ask for our bread;that teaches us honesty and industry: we do not ask for thebread of others, nor the bread of deceit, #Pr 20:17|; nor thebread of idleness, #Pr 31:27|, but the bread honestly gotten. Weask for our daily bread; which teaches us constantly to dependupon Divine Providence. We beg of God to give it us; not sell itus, nor lend it us, but give it. The greatest of men must bebeholden to the mercy of God for their daily bread. We pray,Give it to us. This teaches us a compassion for the poor. Alsothat we ought to pray with our families. We pray that God wouldgive it us this day; which teaches us to renew the desires ofour souls toward God, as the wants of our bodies are renewed. Asthe day comes we must pray to our heavenly Father, and reckon wecould as well go a day without food, as without prayer. We aretaught to hate and dread sin while we hope for mercy, todistrust ourselves, to rely on the providence and grace of Godto keep us from it, to be prepared to resist the tempter, andnot to become tempters of others. Here is a promise, If youforgive, your heavenly Father will also forgive. We mustforgive, as we hope to be forgiven. Those who desire to findmercy with God, must show mercy to their brethren. Christ cameinto the world as the great Peace-maker, not only to reconcileus to God, but one to another. 16-18 Religious fasting is a duty required of the disciples ofChrist, but it is not so much a duty itself, as a means todispose us for other duties. Fasting is the humbling of thesoul, #Ps 35:13|; that is the inside of the duty; let that,therefore, be thy principal care, and as to the outside of it,covet not to let it be seen. God sees in secret, and will rewardopenly. 19-24 Worldly-mindedness is a common and fatal symptom ofhypocrisy, for by no sin can Satan have a surer and faster holdof the soul, under the cloak of a profession of religion.Something the soul will have, which it looks upon as the bestthing; in which it has pleasure and confidence above otherthings. Christ counsels to make our best things the joys andglories of the other world, those things not seen which areeternal, and to place our happiness in them. There are treasuresin heaven. It is our wisdom to give all diligence to make ourtitle to eternal life sure through Jesus Christ, and to look onall things here below, as not worthy to be compared with it, andto be content with nothing short of it. It is happiness aboveand beyond the changes and chances of time, an inheritanceincorruptible. The worldly man is wrong in his first principle;therefore all his reasonings and actions therefrom must bewrong. It is equally to be applied to false religion; that whichis deemed light is thick darkness. This is an awful, but acommon case; we should therefore carefully examine our leadingprinciples by the word of God, with earnest prayer for theteaching of his Spirit. A man may do some service to twomasters, but he can devote himself to the service of no morethan one. God requires the whole heart, and will not share itwith the world. When two masters oppose each other, no man canserve both. He who holds to the world and loves it, must despiseGod; he who loves God, must give up the friendship of the world. 25-34 There is scarcely any sin against which our Lord Jesusmore warns his disciples, than disquieting, distracting,distrustful cares about the things of this life. This ofteninsnares the poor as much as the love of wealth does the rich.But there is a carefulness about temporal things which is aduty, though we must not carry these lawful cares too far. Takeno thought for your life. Not about the length of it; but referit to God to lengthen or shorten it as he pleases; our times arein his hand, and they are in a good hand. Not about the comfortsof this life; but leave it to God to make it bitter or sweet ashe pleases. Food and raiment God has promised, therefore we mayexpect them. Take no thought for the morrow, for the time tocome. Be not anxious for the future, how you shall live nextyear, or when you are old, or what you shall leave behind you.As we must not boast of tomorrow, so we must not care forto-morrow, or the events of it. God has given us life, and hasgiven us the body. And what can he not do for us, who did that?If we take care about our souls and for eternity, which are morethan the body and its life, we may leave it to God to providefor us food and raiment, which are less. Improve this as anencouragement to trust in God. We must reconcile ourselves toour worldly estate, as we do to our stature. We cannot alter thedisposals of Providence, therefore we must submit and resignourselves to them. Thoughtfulness for our souls is the best cureof thoughtfulness for the world. Seek first the kingdom of God,and make religion your business: say not that this is the way tostarve; no, it is the way to be well provided for, even in thisworld. The conclusion of the whole matter is, that it is thewill and command of the Lord Jesus, that by daily prayers we mayget strength to bear us up under our daily troubles, and to armus against the temptations that attend them, and then let noneof these things move us. Happy are those who take the Lord fortheir God, and make full proof of it by trusting themselveswholly to his wise disposal. Let thy Spirit convince us of sinin the want of this disposition, and take away the worldlinessof our hearts.
Copyright information for MHCC
Welcome to STEP Bible
From Tyndale House, Cambridge UK
Use the search box to find Bibles, commentaries, passages, search terms, etc. Here are some examples:
This shows how to quickly lookup a passage.
Looking up a passage in three different translations is also easy.
This asks STEP to search for the Greek word for 'brother' and show the results in the ESV.
This example runs both a 'Hebrew word search' and a 'Text' search and shows the results in both the NIV and ESV.
You can mix most searches. This finds any word translated as 'throne' in the Prophets and the New Testament, but only in verses concerning the topic 'David'. This excludes verses which refer to a 'throne' in other contexts.
Interlinear Hebrew & Greek is available for some translations with grammar (and more soon). To reverse the interlinear order, click on a version abbreviation under the verse number.
© Tyndale House, Cambridge, UK - 2018