Matthew 6:25-34 forms part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1 to 7:29). Although delivered in the presence of the crowds (5:1) it is addressed to His followers (5:2). Jesus gives them the Lord’s Prayer (6:9-13) which includes the petition, “Give us today our daily bread” (6:11) and enjoins them to set their hearts not on earthly treasure but on heavenly treasures, really on God Himself (6:19-24). Our passage follows on as a practical outworking of this, showing the trust the Christian can always have in God’s provision.
“…your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” (v32)
What, being honest, are your greatest needs at present in the light of your recent loss?
1. Is “Do not worry” not an impossible instruction?
2. Jesus tells His disciples to look at nature. What is it about the birds and the lilies that he wants them and us to focus attention on?
3. What lesson does Jesus, using His “how much more” argument, draw for us?
4. The pagans are criticised for running after food and clothes. What should the Christian be like instead – in
5. Look at the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. Is there a connection between where verse 11, the request for food, is placed in the prayer and the teaching of verse 33? What about the scope in time of v11 and the teaching of v34?
6. The only other context in which Jesus is recorded as specifically instructing us not to worry is when He tells His disciples not to worry what to say when they are brought before the authorities because of their faith (Matthew 10:17-20; Mark 13:11; Luke 12:11,12; 21:12-15). Considering His instruction there – for a situation when our back is against the wall spiritually, emotionally and perhaps even physically – along with his instruction here not to worry about our daily need for food and clothes (see also Luke 12:22-31), what attitude is Jesus wanting to see develop in us?
Now or Later
Think about the needs you thought of at the start. How does Jesus’ teaching here address these?
Conclude by meditating on Philippians 4:6,7.
This study was kindly created by Rev Alistair Cook.