THE WORDS OF JESUS
Creative, Causative, Prophetic, Instructional – Part 25
“Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Isn’t life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – The Words of Jesus, Matthew 6:25-34.
I began this series on “The Words of Jesus” asking, ‘what if The Word of God is true?’ I mean, what if His Words are literally true in ways we fail to recognize? People who personally encountered Jesus testified and reported on the Works He did, and this caused throngs to follow Him, stirred great controversies, created deadly conflicts and gave untold millions a greater hope for a new, vibrant, changed life, full of promise now and eternal hope of a home in heaven with God.
The Words Jesus spoke, and the Works Jesus did, changed the world.
I ask again, ‘what if we have been reading and misunderstanding what Jesus meant by His Words and the intentions of His Words? What if we have been misapplying what He taught? (Jesus was always concerned about His disciple’s lack of understanding and ‘lack of faith’.)
I realize I am wading into a potentially controversial area, but I am not referring to some kind of religious mysticism or extra-Biblical teaching, heresy or religious nonsense. (I believe, practice and teach a reformed view of the Bible.) But I do believe a great majority of the church, the teaching and practices of the church and the results produced by the early church have waned if not disappeared completely.
So, I ask one last time: What if the Word of God is
- Somehow, literally Alive, and
- Somehow, literally Active, and
- Producing the effect of being Sharper than any two-edged sword,
- Capable of literally Penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit,
- Dividing both joints and marrow, and
Somehow, literally able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart?
I would like to say that the verses we are looking at today are the cure for anxiety and worry, but like a coat on a cold day, it does you no good unless and until you put it on and wear it for a while. In other words, you have to do it and practice these words and let Jesus do His Work in you.
A better translation would say, ‘take no thought for your life’, that is to employ your ‘psuche’, or your soul, your psyche, which is the seat of your feelings, desires, affections and aversions. Another way of saying this in a colloquial way might be, ‘don’t waste your time and energy thinking about and worrying over ’what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on’.
Jesus then turns our attention to the root of the problem and to the remedy, saying, “seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness”. Once again, Jesus is teaching about the focus of our heart, soul and spirit. We are to stop focusing on the temporal, such as what you shall eat, drink or wear, after all, this is what the gentiles, the pagans and non-believers focus on. You are to set your mind, first, on the kingdom of God and His Righteousness!
Are we getting the message, here? Jesus has been teaching about clearing your mind of the clutter of life through fasting, so you can focus; then focusing your heart, your mind and your eyes on Him and His Kingdom. You and I are to be single-minded in that pursuit.
The question and the rebuke are, “will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”
The human soul, regarded as a moral being, is designed for eternal life, and it differs from the body in that it is not dissolved by death. If you believe your destiny is heaven, which you cannot see, believe also that God has provided, is providing and will continue to provide all the things you can see. He provides all your needs in and through Christ Jesus!
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Pray on this. Think on this. Meditate on this. Practice this. Live this.
Your Brother and Friend,
PREVIOUS: THE WORDS OF JESUS – What Are You To Do With Them? Part 24, “No one can serve two masters…”
NEXT: THE WORDS OF JESUS – What Are You To Do With Them? Part 26, “Judge not…”