1-4. As to Alms-giving.
5-15. As to Prayer.
16-18. As to Fasting.
19-24. As to Riches.
25-34. As to Cares, &c.
(Chapter six is a continuation of Matthew five, that ended with Christ's teaching on His "Law of Love". He is now going to teach us on giving, how to pray, and on fasting. Christ was the living Word, and that is why we must keep in the Word daily.)
AS TO ALMSGIVING
Matthew 6:1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
(When the time for the offering comes, it is obvious who the ones that give to be seen are, and they make sure that everyone knows the amount, for it creates the image that they want the others to have of them. That image, as the big giver, is their reward, and God will allow them the privilege of an increased ego, of their temporary vanity. That is the only reward that is to be given to them. Upon their death, or the Lord's coming, it is as if they never gave a cent.
The intention is what is important, and not the secrecy of the giving. You give because you love the Father, and that it is what is commanded of you through the tithe. For in the long run, As one of God's elect, it isn't yours to give in the first place. The tithe is the Lords, and what is left, is His gift to you as a faithful steward of God's wealth. It is from the heart that the alms are given, and it is given for the spreading of God's Word.
The important thing here is the intent in your mind, not the other man's mind. If the government grants a tax advantage by the giving, you should take it. Your tax forms are private documents, and if it is the law of the land, it is permissible within the Scriptures. What is important is that you gave it privately in the first place, with the purpose of serving God. It is not the physical act of giving that is important, but the mental act within your mind that is part of your spiritual life.)
2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites
(= actors: i.e. those who speak or act from under a mask. Used later of actual impiety, to which it led)
do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
(I.e. those men who desired to be seen of men, were seen, and had received all they looked for. They got their reward, and had nothing more to come. Luke 6:24. Cp. Phil. 4:18.)
3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
(The work of God is in many ministries, and God may lay on your heart the need to help in another ministry, and that is why our giving is private, because it is only your business, and only you will receive just rewards for your intent of your giving.)
4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
(Again, it is your own private business, and the reason for the giving comes form your love of God, and His dealing with you in your heart. If the intent in your heart, or mind is right, you need not say anything, God can read your heart, and it is He that will assure you of your blessings on earth in this life, and the rewards you receive eternally. When you give God's way, you can expect a blessing from it.
The thing to remember is that we must do our giving in the ways and places that God has instructed us to give. Telethons, and gimmicks rip people off, by denying them the blessings of the living God. Sounding the trumpet, ring the bell, rush out the chart, quick, quick get your call in; it is all robbing God's people of any blessing of reward. They will give and get nothing for it, but end up on many sucker lists for future harassment.)
AS TO PRAYER
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
(In other words, if they want to be heard in their prayer, that is as far as their prayer is going. Their reward is the vanity that they may have in their mind, that they have some elevated position amongst the men around them. Jesus is telling us not to do such a thing.)
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet,
(Hence a secret chamber where treasures were stored)
and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
(God is not blind and hard of hearing, in fact He can understand what is on your heart before you do. His Spirit knows what you need, and can utter a prayer before your mind can think it. Most heathen religions use chants, and repetitions that continue for hours, in fact the ancient Sumerian religion of ancient Babylon used beads on a long string, to count the number of prayers to the their god Tammuz. It had the Tammuz cross on the string, -- this relic has been dug up in archaeological digs in the middle east, that pre-date the time of Christ by centuries. It is from this ancient string custom of pagan prayer that the Catholics get the use of their rosary.
God is saying that any form of repetition He will not hear, because it is heathen.)
8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
(He knows what you need, and get down and repent in Jesus name, then present your case before Him. Do it His way and He will bless you for it. God knows what you need, and He also knows what you don't need. He also knows when it is right to withhold what we feel is a must, for our own sake. We better thank Him for this.)
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father
(See Ex. 4:22. Deut. 32:4, &c. The idolater could say to his idol "You are my father", so Israel was bound to do so [Isa. 63:16; 64:8]. The Talmus so teaches)
Which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
(Note that the first 3 petitions are with respect to God, while the next 4 concern those who pray. God is to be put 1st in all prayer.)
10 Thy kingdom come,
(Bring it here. This is the great subject of the 1st period of the Lord's ministry. It was then being proclaimed, but was afterward rejected, and is now in abeyance. Hence this same petitions now correct, not the usual prayers for the "increase" or "extension" of it)
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
(The kingdom is the King and his dominion. Know in your mind that Jesus Christ is the King and this earth is Christ's domain, with Satan being allowed a short reign here. Christ's kingdom is coming to this earth at the seventh trumpet, and then Jesus will reign here on earth, just as He does now in Heaven.
Our focus should be on the return of the King of kings, and His return to this earth, and those of His domain that is set up on the earth, once Satan is driven out. That is the frame of mind that we should have.)
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
(Gr. epiousios. A word coined by our Lord, and used only here and Luke 11:3, by Him. Therefore it means coming or descending upon, as did the manna, with which it is contrasted in John 6:32,33. It is the true bread from heaven, by which alone man can live - the Word of God, which is prayed for here.
If you are a student of God's Word, what is the famine for in the end times? It will not be for the bread that we eat, but for the truth of God's Word. The Prophet told us what this bread would be to the last generation. Amos 8:11; "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord."
Amos 8:12,13; "And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it. In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst."
Jesus Christ is our bread, and He is the word of God [John 1:1-4], and that is what we are to pray for. Jesus Christ is what we had better be feeding on daily, to get our strength for the day. Friend, the only way that you will get through to your Heavenly Father is through Jesus Christ, it is only by the name of Jesus that we can approach the throne of God.)
12 And forgive us our debts,
(Sin is so called because failure in the obligation involves expiation and satisfaction)
(= that is only what we mortals do. "We" is thus emphatic)
forgive our debtors.
(We forgive because we have been forgiven on account of Christ's merits)
13 And lead us not into temptation,
(Cp. Jas. 1:12,13)
but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
(Satan and his evil spirits are all around us today, and here we are asking God to protect us from the old tempter. We are asking God to give us discernment to keep each of us from the temptations that the wicked one will bring our way. The phrase, "deliver us from the evil" [one] should be added.
Jesus is saying that if you say, "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever;" you had better believe every word. There had better be no other king, and no other dominion that you have an interest in. Our Lord is a jealous God, and living in the latter days as we are, the real time of testing is coming shortly, and we had better know our Messiah, for the fake.
All power is from God, and All glory goes to our Lord Jesus Christ, for without Christ's shed blood on the cross, there is no salvation. All crowns, and rewards go to Him, Amen.)
14 For if
(Implying a contingency. Forgiveness was conditional in that dispensation of the kingdom)
ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
(This is one "if" you had better not overlook, if you ever need forgiveness from the Father. At one time or another, we all fall into that category. When someone has repented of a sin against you, forgive them.)
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
(Again, the choice is yours. This applies only to those who deserve forgiveness. God doesn't expect Christians to become second-class citizens who allow bullies to run over them.)
AS TO FASTING
16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
(Jesus is telling us that when we fast, we should not be like those that call great attention to their fast. They moan, "Oh Lord, how we suffer as Christians for you." The continue with their belly-aching, until they become a pain. What kind of an example are they setting for the non-believer, the run most of the people away.
All their play acting is all that they are going to get out of their display for attention. That is their reward.)
17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
(The fast is to obtain from using the physical bread, and giving forth the spiritual bread of life. It is a time for teaching the Word to others, and showing them that God's Word releases you from all the burdens that the religious world would bind you to. Your outward expression should be of joy, and happiness in serving God, and if you can't do it God's way, it is better for you that it isn't done.)
18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
(When we fast, we become the salesmen for Christ, and that is the time to look sharp. You are to be the representative for the most powerful force in the universe, our Heavenly Father, and that is your full effort. No one should be able to even tell that you are in a fast. It is the time to shave, and shower, and look sharp. The fast is not for others to see your sacrifice, but our Heavenly Father to see the intent of our heart. Then our fast is received and rewarded openly, with blessings that only God can give.)
AS TO RICHES
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
(This is how we are to look upon riches, and there is no disgrace on being wealthy, if it is the rewards from the blessings of God. God promised us in His Word that when we follow his Word, and do thing as taught in His Word, then He would reward us openly, and those blessings are for this earth age as well as the next.
There is nothing wrong is storing up provisions for the future, and many people today store up to a year, to protect themselves from hard times. Jesus is telling us that storing in excess, for the sake of greed, and that is to become a religious form to you, it is wrong. Are you putting that before God, and your service to Him?)
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
(There is a big difference between wealth by traditions, and wealth by blessings of God. Those riches that you store up in heaven can never be stolen, because there are no thieves there. Part of your wealth when you become a son of the Living God, is the inheritance that comes with your adoption into His family. It is not just things, but in the position, and responsibility that comes with the position. My friend, there is no way that you can out give God, for in the end, when the records of your deeds are accounted for, each will be well rewarded for.
The greatest treasure anyone can have, is to know, and be part of our Lord Jesus Christ's kingdom. To know that the bonds of our sins are gone because of the price that Jesus paid on the cross. Eternal life is only possible because of the blood of Jesus Christ, and that is the greatest gift anyone can have. Any one can have that gift, just for the taking, and you receive that gift by your repenting of your sins, in Jesus Name, and believing in Him and turning from those wicked ways to God's way.)
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
(Your heart is the intellect of your soul, and that is contained in your mind. It is what you think, and what you hold to be dear in your mind. If the making of money, for money's sake is foremost in your efforts, then that is where your heart is. However, if while serving our Lord, He pours the blessings on you, then your treasurers and heart are in the same place, where it belongs. Don't let earthly things get in front of our heavenly Father.)
22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
(What is in your mind, is the image of your soul. If Christ is in your mind, the light that comes forth from you, is the spiritual light that only Christ can give. Your whole body will project what is in year hear, and the world will see that. "Single" here is "perfectly clear", and when you are set in your mind the teaching of the Word of God, then what ever you do will reflect your singleness of mind.)
23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
("Mammon" is an Aramaic word that means "riches by ill-gotten gain". If you are the richest person in the world, and you earned it by doing things God's way, that is not mammon. However if your gain is from cheating the public, and robbing from the poor, that is mammon. God does bless His own, and you can expect to be blessed when you support His work, tithe, and direct your life in accordance with His Word. Riches then become your "badge of honor." Don't let clown put you on a guilt trip because of the blessings that God has given you.
The message that Jesus is giving us is that when we obtain riches, we cannot be of service to both God and the money. One will take priority. If you serve God, then the money will become secondary, but must be used wisely.)
AS TO CARES
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought
(I.e. full of care, or over-anxious)
for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
(Jesus is telling us to fix in our mind that within our physical body, there is a spiritual body, and that that spiritual body, or our soul is far more important that this temporary body of the flesh.)
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
(Have you noticed how each of the birds have been given the instinct to know what they should do in providing for their needs. Each kind has different needs, and care and yet year after year they survive and are protected. Birds don't sow a crop, neither do they bring in a harvest.
If God will do that for each individual bird, think of how much more His concern is for you. God thinks much of His nature and creation, and He thinks that much more about you. We are to follow His commandments, and use common sense that He has given us, He will take good care of us.)
27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
(Jesus is asking, which one of you can add one moment to your life, by worrying. In reality it works just the opposite.)
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
(There is only one apparel that you want to be concerned about having on, and that is the "gospel armor", of Ephesians 6:10-20. God will take care of His own.)
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
(Note the 4 occurrences of this word [oligopistos - faith]. Here, rebuking care; 8:26 rebuking fear; 14:31, rebuking doubt; 16:8, rebuking reasoning. Luke 12:28 is parallel with Matt. 6:30.)
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or, 'What shall we drink?' or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
(When you truly want the kingdom and blessings of God, then it become paramount that we seek the Kingdom of God first. What we do, and say are all directed towards the adding to the kingdom of God, the King of that kingdom is Jesus Christ, and His dominion is obtained through following His will. That will is written in His Word, the Bible. When that will becomes our focus, then God will add all the things necessary for this life.)
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
(Within all of us there is a natural tendency to worry when things just don't go right. We get down, and just start mumbling and talking to our self. This is a lack of faith, and a sign that we have taken our focus off of seeking first the kingdom of God. God is telling us, don't worry about tomorrow, because I am going to allow Satan to send you all the trouble today that you can handle.
However, if you have the faith, God will always kick those rocks out of your path, to keep you from stumbling. We can handle the little pebbles, and God will take care of the rest.)