24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry 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, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Mathew 6
Survey after survey demonstrate how anxiety has crept into American and world cultures. According to a 2019 Barna survey, more than 40% of young adults feel anxious. Hyper connectedness, and a turn from relying on God to relying on self and social inputs, seem to have been a part of what’s driving this reality.
Feelings of anxiety have existed throughout all time, including biblical times. In Mathew 6 we see Jesus teaching the disciples what the Christian’s attitude must be toward worry. In these verses He focuses not seeking wealth, demonstrates who we are in Him, and finishes up with a comforting command:
- Verse 24 – Shows we cannot serve the World and God. Jesus teaches us the importance of conscientious focus, and how illogical it is to try and serve two masters. He made it clear we either serve God or the world, it’s impossible to serve both. You cannot love God with all your heart, strength, and soul and the world at the same time. This follows up what He had just taught, that where our focus lies so does our heart (Mathew 6:21).
- Verses 25-30 – Illustrate the ineffectiveness of worry because of who we are in Christ Jesus. We are infinitely valuable to God. He will take care of our all our earthly needs. This does not mean we won’t have trouble or hardship. God puts us in situations that help us and others grow in Him.
- Verses 31-33 – The logical conclusion. “Therefore” there is no reason to worry about earthly things. Christ Followers are not to be like the unsaved. If we are seeking the kingdom of God, putting the consistent focus on His righteousness, we will have everything we need. Verse 33 demonstrates two elements. We are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. These two elements go together and cannot be separated. We are instructed to commit ourselves fully to God, to live every moment of our lives seeking and doing His will, not our own.
- Verse 34 – Seek His will and do it. For these reasons, seeking His will and doing it is not only logical, He states it as a command. Focusing on God, putting Him first in everything we do, seeking His will and doing it leaves no time for worry. We must come to Him in relationship, in learning about Him through His word, in prayer, seeking to know Him and His will for us in His created world.
In this passage we see Jesus teaching why we shouldn’t be anxious and how it is illogical and prevented by His design. Putting God first, continually seeking and doing His will leaves little room for anxiety. When we are working in tandem with God we not only don’t have time for worry, we are kept by a spirit of joy. We are always under His guidance and protection. If the creator of the universe and everything in it can’t take care of us then who can? We can be confident.
Side note: This message was apparent in the Old Testament as well, for example Isaiah 40:31:
But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.