NOTE: Many of these notes are acquired through different commentaries, one major commentary used in this message was completed by William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew. Also, there are some things from the Dietrick Bonhoeffer book called 'Cost of Discipleship'
*Where this scripture falls in entirety of the Bible- Biblical Gospel Theme (Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration to New Creation).
We have been walking thru the Gospel of Matthew...(expound) Seen Jesus from birth, growing up, his baptism, testing in the desert, the beginning of his ministry, his start of preaching, teaching and healing, and the calling of his disciples and the masses start flocking to and following him...Now here is the sermon on the mount(expound)...
The Sermon on the Mount Continues
GOD IS RELATIONAL!
JESUS IS ALL about people, that is why he came to the Earth. WE now find ourselves sitting before Jesus' teaching. And the teaching is coming from a common, simple man. A man who was in the midst of people, sitting with them, talking with them, eating with them, living with them. But there was something different about him...He taught, did things and lived as no one before him. And now we find him teaching on a hillside with a large group of people listening to him, Jesus...
WE find ourselves in the middle of a teaching which started with Jesus opening himself up and showing who He was and how he lived with the beatitudes. Then he moves to challenge the peoples current understanding and way of living saying over and over again, "you have heard that it was said...but I tell you that...". He had a new authority and began to set a new standard. He then moved on to start teaching about the motives of a persons' heart concerning worship(giving, prayer, fasting). & then right before we find ourselves in this small part of Jesus' teaching- Jesus says that all who decide to follow him need focus on and live in such a way that the spiritual and eternal are reality & not the physical.
So we are sitting before Jesus probably in a state of awe and being overwhelmed by his teaching. We begin to think about being hot and tired and a physical hunger creeping on us. We wonder where we are going to sleep and take a bath and get some food. Then forcing our focus back to God and the spiritual teachings of Jesus we become overwhelmed. We start to think, I have a hard enough time taking care of myself and my family physically, there is no way we can live as Jesus' teachings call us to. Maybe doubt creeps in and anxiety starts to mount on us one small thing at a time...and then Jesus comes with this teaching...that is where we find ourselves in Matthew 6:25-34.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans(Gentiles-people who don't know God) run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own“ (Matthew 6:25-34 NIV)
“If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
“Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. (Matthew 6:25-34 MSG)
1) Scripture Question: What are your scripture objections? Intellectual, moral??
-If you believe: a) God doesn't exist & b) the Bible is just a story book not Gods words. Please be patient and keep an open mind with us tonight.
So we don't have to do anything, God just gives us what we need??
conflict: how can you seek righteousness? -doesn't the bible say no man is righteous.
What are your biggest problems with Christianity?
2) Scripture Question: What does it tell you about God? (If you don't believe there is a God, use your imagination, hypothetically if there was a God.)
God wants people to be in tune with Him, his children to trust him, rely on Him
God wants his people to grow in faith of him
God loves to provide and satisfy his people
God lead us and teach how to be deeply satisfied and correct our focus in life
3) Scripture Question: What does it tell you about people?
We are worth much
We are prone to loose faith and wander, & find false satisfaction in trying to control and play God
We need to learn and grow in where we place our faith.
when we have much...it seems that we focus on much here on this earth
Starting in verse 25, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry (do not be perpetually uneasy, do not be anxious)...
Look, Jesus had a mom, right, her name was Mary and she had several kids. He witnessed the plague of worry/anxiety in the human race since he was a kid. Mom's worry about their kids. His mom's all worried about him: Jesus watch out for the neighborhood kids, don't run off you might get kidnapped, look both ways before you cross the stone road, did you get enough to eat, etc. etc....
He saw and knows how much we humans are prone to worry...we worry about things here, we try to accumulate and we worry about it, we believe it will satisfy and we worry that we aren't satisfied, but once we get the little treasure we worried about getting, we then worry about keeping it and then worry about getting the next thing to add to our earthly treasure, and on and on it goes...
Leading Question: What do you find yourself storing up or worrying about?
IT'S KIND OF COOL to see where Jesus takes this. As he looks over the crowd of those listening(he looks at us), knowing that just like his mother, every single person struggles with anxiety and worry. As Jesus always does, he challenges them -BUT- he sets up a logical way to look at and combat worry/anxiety and ultimately offers hope and a new way to live life without worry.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? (Matthew 6:25 NIV)
"...Is not life more..."
--A simple logical truth for us: If God Gave Us Life, we can trust him for the things which are necessary to support life.
"...is not life more..." is something Jesus will bring home for us later...
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6:26 NIV)
Here in the River Market...there are so many freakin' birds, seriously there are more birds per capita than anywhere I have ever lived. Once I moved down here it took me a while to get used to the bird chirping and song. And I learned that it is not safe to park under tree limbs. I guess the birds are insomniacs or sleep in cycles down here because you can hear them at all hours of the night. I think it has to do with the light pollution. Anyhow, back to Jesus teaching...'birds of the air'
Now you may say, come on Jesus, hasn't anyone called you a bird brain before? Of course birds don't worry...but Jesus is giving us a little gem here...
So, What is Jesus really trying to show us in this verse?
-Birds Do Not Worry. They don't strain to see future which they can't see. & They don't find security in things stored up & accumulated against the future.
-creature to Creator, what more with child and Father
Shared thoughts: it is a deeper than the physical, Jesus is revealing the spiritual
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Matthew 6:27 NIV)
Leading Question: When you worry, how does it affect your life? & how does it affect your relationship with God?
THE EFFECTS OF WORRY
-Worry Cannot Add to Life. Worrying is Pointless.
-Actively Injurious: If it wears out the mind, the body is next. Affects man's judgement, lessens power of decision making, incapable of dealing with life.
(ii) Worry is Blind
-It refuses to learn ->lessons of nature, history of God, life(we have gone through seemingly impossible and survived)
THERE MAY BE GREATER SINS; BUT WORRY IS DESTRUCTIVE & DISABLING. (Prevents Peace & Power)
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? (Matthew 6:28-30 NIV)
-Speaks of Flowers. His love for them. Short life span & used to quickly heat fire. Surely, the generocity of beauty which is lavished to the flower will not be forgetful of man and woman(the crown of creation).
Leading Question: Verse 30 says, "Oh you of little faith." How is faith connected to worry?
Shared Thoughts: worry is contagious. within interpersonal relationships & within a person over time. Worry can also become a norm, something someone is used to and lives in not nowing anything but worry and anxiety (even if it is slight)
--Yes...worry is lack of trust in God...and jesus goes on to show us in the next couple verses, 31&32.
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. (Matthew 6:31-32 NIV)
So...Let's say hypothetically, you have 2 different men who have the same thing happen to them(you can pick x, y, or z). One man's response is worry and the other man has peace. Why 2 different responses, why is that?
-Not caused by external circumstances: Same thing happens to 2 different men- 1 man has peace & the other is worried
--Both Worry and Peace come from the heart.
--things of the past can affect someones response.
-Worry is lack of trust in God. If you worry, it is likely that you have a misunderstanding of who God is! You need(to grow) to learn to believe in the love of God.
--Those of us who call God by the name of Father, we have no reason to worry.
--check out verse 8- God already knows what we need...Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:8 NIV)
JESUS GOES ON -> GIVING TWO WAYS TO BATTLE WORRY & WE WILL FIND HOPE TO CONQUER WORRY
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33 NIV)
Steeping in God Reality, Initiative and Provisions
HOW do we seek first and concentrate on the Kingdom of God?
being with other people and talking about God and learning from each other
serve other people
-To concentrate on the doing and accepting of God's will is a way to defeat worry.
-Jesus' conviction that worry is banished when God becomes the dominating power of our lives.
Jesus is declaring a promise: if we make God's kingdom and righteousness our priority, then god will supply the other needs for our lives.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34 NIV)
So...Is Jesus forbidding working or planning? No, of course not?
There is a connection between anxiety, seeking the kingdom and tomorrow that is important.
WE CAN EASILY PULL OUT THE IDEA: Acquire the Art of Living 1 Day @ a Time.
Why worry about a day that you may not live?
-Live and deal with each day/moment/situation as it comes.
INTO THE BIG PICTURE...GOSPEL APPLICATION...
This is very applicable teaching but boiled down comes back to the gospel and is gospel centered...& it is because the entire Bible is about Jesus from beginning to end...so when we look at the Bible and any teaching from it should seek to return to Jesus...because their is hope in the message of Christ, their is hope in the Gospel of Jesus.
You and I, we think we live...but so often, we are plagued by worry...in this moment of time, Jesus looks out at those he teaching and knows they are a people who worry. He has compassion and so he challenges them, "saying isn't there more to life? You believe you are living right now, look how worry has stolen from you and stolen from God, my Father.
Jesus is saying to us: When you worry, you are dethroning God and presuming to rule the world yourselves. You have chosen to put your story first.
I know you can't seek first the Kingdom of God by yourselves, by your own power and by your own effort. That's why I'm here.
I'm here to allow God's story to take priority in your life...and then your story falls in place and is played out better than you could have ever imagined.
Jesus says die to your old ways of thinking and living, choose my way. I am the way to your freedom. Jesus says, "I will give up my life and I will rise again so that you can have life. A life that can be worry free. Acknowledge your old ways, turn from them and if you believe in me, the gospel sets u free and offers true life.
"Either it is an intolerable law(crushing burden), which men will reject with indignation; or it is the unique proclomation of the gospel of the glorious liberty of the children of God, who have a Father in heaven, a Father who has given his beloved Son." -Dietrich Bonhoeffer
It is not care that frees the disciples from care, but their faith in Jesus Christ. Only they know that we cannot be anxious(v27). The coming day, even the coming hour, are placed beyond our control.