Matthew 6:19-34 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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The Sermon on the Mount (IV)
Comments for Study 10

Matthew 6:19-34
Memory Verse: 33


The fact that this passage is a continuation of verses 1-18 is easy to see. The hypocrites sought treasures of the earth which was the praise of man instead of the praise of God and a reward in heaven.

I. Treasures in Heaven (19-24)

>1. How do worldly minded people pursue the security and rewards of their lives? How did Jesus admonish such futility? Why? (19, 1 John 2:17)

Matthew 6:19-20 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal."

* "Do not store up" -This is to count these things the best, nor the most valuable in themselves, nor the most serviceable (to save us), nor to count as glamorous.

* "store up for yourselves treasures on earth" -People store up treasures on earth which may consist of; materials, life insurance, family, money, and items of sentimental value. Ecclesiastes 2:4-9 lists some. It says, "I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well--the delights of the heart of man. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me."

* Earthly treasures are meaningless in and by themselves. Without God they are meaningless; with God they can have meaning. Eccles. 1:2 says, "Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless."

* In the end earthly treasures only bring disappointment. 1 John 2:17 says, "The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever."

* People store up earthly things out of fear of the unknown; thus it seems good and fulfilling to store up things. People store up because it appears that this will serve us well. Greed is also a factor why people store up things. Also, or sinful nature compels us to store up things. And lastly, but not lest, people store up because they want to look good in other people's eyes and thus impress them.

>2. What are treasures in heaven? (5:12,30; Mark 9:47; 6:5, 15; 2 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Peter 1:4) How can we store up treasures in heaven? (24, 1 Timothy 6:18,19) How do they give true security, freedom, and happiness? How does the choice of our treasure determine our value system and integrity? (21)

* "store up for yourselves treasures in heaven" -2 Corinthians 4:17 says, "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.'" And 1 Peter 1:4 says, "And into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for you." And 1 Timothy 6:18-19 says, "Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life."

Heavenly treasures are eternal. They are things of the spirit, in the heart such as faith, hope and love. They are godly qualities. (Ephesians 5:9-24) Note that they are plural not singular. (Ephesians 1:14). God is the one who stores them up not us. He also protects them.

* "treasures" -Plural, not singular. And according to the parable of the tenants, a hard working Christian (for Jesus and the Gospel) will receive many gifts when he/she enters heaven

* The greatest treasure in Jesus in the heart. Isaiah 33:6 says of Jesus, "He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure." And the Lord said to Abraham, "I am your very great reward." (Genesis 15:1).

* The Bible teaches that we can/will have treasures not only in heaven. In Jesus we have glory and the fruits of the Spirit of God.

* 1 John 2:17 says, "The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever."

* 1 Peter 1:4 says, "and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you," "Inheritance" is a transfer of ownership.

Matthew 6:21 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

* "heart is" -Treasures of any kind demands heart devotion and attention. If someone loves something he will put all his heart, strength, mind, time, money...all he has into it. All these things are a man's heart.

* A Christian is not to have just mindless devotion and/or "Christian" activities with no heart.

* Col. 3:1-2 says, "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. [2] Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."

* There are many verses that tell Christians how to store up treasures in heaven. Verses 1-18 in this chapter talk about prayer, giving to the needy, and fasting.

* 1 Tim. 6:18-19 says, "Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. [19] In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life."

* Mark 8:35 says, "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it."

>3. What do "the eyes" symbolize? (Psalm 119:36-37) How are the eyes being the lamp of the body illustrate the importance of putting the hope and desires of our hearts in the treasures in heaven?

Matthew 6:22-23 "The eyes is the lamp of the body, If you eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if you eyes are bad, you whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!"

* This is both from the physical and spiritual point of view. Physically it applies to what a person looks at such as looking at the other sex from a sexual point of view and various treasures in this world. Spiritually it refers to the point of reference that we analogize things; that is from God's perspective or man's

* "eyes" -This is heart attention. What we draw our attention to. Psalm 119:36-37 says, "Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to you word. Fulfill you promise to your servant, so that you may be feared."

* Our eyes are a handle, or a steering wheel.

* When I have hope in heaven I will be filled with the Spirit of God. But if I have a greater hope in earthly things, then I will not.

* "lamp" -Our eyes follow our hearts and grow a desire in the heart.

* Job made a covenant with his eyes. Job 31:1 says, "I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl."

Matthew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. "

* Man's heart was not created to be divided. We were created to serve only one master, God. However, sinful man puts something else in the place where God was meant to be. Some Christians think and try to live serving two masters, whether they know it or not. However, according to this verse this is not possible. Thus those Christians are only fooling themselves. Thus all Chrisitans need to ask the question continually, "What, or who, is my master?"

* Serving either God or money is black and white.

* After a while a person who lives the double life will fall to an extreme.

* Christians should not therefore let weeds grow as Jesus taught in the parable of heart soils.

* We must store treasures in heaven, but live in the world. Therefore, often, to keep one's heart on heaven is a day to day struggle. We need the Holy Spirit's help every day to keep our hearts focused on heavenly things.

* "money" -The original Greek is "mammonas". Its of Chaldian origin (confidence, i.e. figurative wealth, personified); mammonas, i.e. avarice (deified).

II. Do Not Worry (25-34)

>4. Why might even Jesus disciples who try to store up the treasures in heaven not be exempted from the anxieties of life? How does it help their faith to know that life is more important than food and the body more important than clothes?

Matthew 6:25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry abot your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes."

* We are in a world and in a body of flesh that is under the curse

* It will strengthen us to know what is really important.

* God knows what everyone needs and gives according to their need.

* It helps ones faith to know that life is more important than food for we will not die even if we do not have food. That is if one has eternal life through Jesus. Thus life, all life both physical and spiritual (eternal) is from Jesus.

* The essence of life is in God and thus knowing him is eternal life. John 17:3 says, "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."

* A Christian should control himself or herself when times comes that have the ability to have us worry. But how can we control oursleves? Reflect on God's promises like this one and simply believe them. If simply believing them is hard a Christian only needs to pray for help.

* Hebrews 13:5 says, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Are you unemployed? Are you unable to work because of illness or injury? If you are a true believer you do not have to worry.

* Philip. 4:11 says, "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."

>5. How does the illustration of God's feeding the birds of the air give confidence in the providence of our Heavenly Father? What do we learn about the futility of worry? (27)

Matthew 6:26 "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?"

* Jesus thus uses example to show God's care, provision, and love.

Matthew 6:27 "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

* God knows what we need and will provide. God knows what we consider beautiful and can make things beautiful.

* Worry stems from the heart attitude that we will not have

* The only thing that worrying produces is ulcers, headaches, heart aches, and distancing oneself from God. In fact, worrying shortens life, due to all of the mentioned side affects.

* Until a man or woman dies he/she needs to eat. And we will live physically until God takes us to heaven. God will take none before their time. Thus, everyone will all have food until God takes us to heaven. The resurrection to come will be a physical resurrection as Jesus' was. Jesus will give us a physical body that is perfect. Yet it too will require food. I wrote of the nature of the resurrection body in my manuscript The Believers Future - Hope that Inspires.

* If ones has a problem that he is worrying about first one must recognise worrying does nothing. Then, he/she should go to God through Jesus in prayer. Then he/she should try to solve the problem by faith. If after trying, sometimes it takes several times to solve particularly hard problems, the problem can not be solved don't start worrying again. Trust that it is God's will and move on. And make a mental note that you tried and discovered it was NOT God's will. Consider Paul's pain in the side. He asked the Lord three times to remove it. The Lord did not. Did Paul worry that the pain would increase or lead to death? No.

* Worrying stems from unbelief. It is a heart attitude that needs correcting. This heart attitude and lack of faith is rooted in a lack of trust and belief in God's love for oneself.

>6. How does the illustration of the lilies of the field give the practical truth that God cares and provides for our needs and that his provision is more glorious that our own achievement? In what respect is worry tooted in unbelief?

Matthew 6:28-32 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. [29] Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. [30] 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, O you of little faith? [31] So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' [32] For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them."

* God knows what everyone needs and gives according to their needs.

* God know what we like to eat, and he knows what we consider beautiful even though this differs from person to person, and from culture to culture. Thus he can provide what we will like.

* "Pagans run after all these things" -A pagan is a non-believer.

* "run after" -Their life pursuits. Often appear to be obsessed, but not necessarily so. One this for sure "these things" keep them preoccupied.

* "your heavenly Father knows that you need them" -Christians have faith that God provides and gives to those who are his what they need.

>7. How can we overcome our worries about the cares of this world and our own future security? (33) In what way is this a most precious promise? How can we seek first his kingdom and righteousness?

Matthew 6:33 "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

* This is a promise and a command. Often in the Bible promises and commands go together.

* "seek first" -Put God's will first in all things; and/or seeking God about all things. This is not that God is first on a list. Rather God is first in all things we do; i.e. work, play, eat, sleep, read, entertain guests, etc. Thus we have the right priority in all aspects of our lives.

* We seek first his kingdom and righteousness by faith.

* "kingdom" -This is when Jesus is in my heart.

* "righteousness" -A right relationship with God through Jesus. Righteousness is a personal relationship with God. From this flows the right life before God and a right life before God is living by faith in Jesus alone.

* "and all these things will be given to you as well" -When one holds this promise in his or her heart all worries will disappear and the troubles of this world will seem to melt away. Not that the trouble goes away. Rather our perspective changes. We know God "works" for the good of those who believes." Thus in Christ, seeking his will and righteousness we will be content

* God will provide all one needs. There is no need to worry.

* People of the world seek things of the world and thus never attain what Jesus here promises. However, if one does change as Jesus is suggesting in this passage. Then, even though he was of "the world" he will receive Jesus' promise.

* Examples of this in the Bible is Joseph's and David's life.

* 1 Cor. 10:31 says, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. "

>8. If we really believe God's promise, what will be the practical life-style and the way we will handle the cares of the world? (34) Why is this the wisdom of life? How is Jesus' life a good example of this?

Matthew 6:34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

* In other words, "Live in the present." This does not mean that we should not plan and pray about those plans. It means seek God's will and don't worry about the outcome, for it will be God's will.

* No one really knows what will happen tomorrow. Nor can we change yesterday.

* Jesus himself lived according to these words. He lived according to the days events. However, this did not mean that he didn't know the future. However, we do not know the future as Jesus did.