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Matthew Six

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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.

Matthew 6:2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Matthew 6:3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

Matthew 6:4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

Matthew 6:5 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.

Matthew 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, 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.

Matthew 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

vain repetitions. This principle could apply both to ritualistic prayers and also to the modern idea of repeating several times the sentiments sung in worship choruses. All prayer—whether verbalized, sung or silent—should come from the heart and be addressed to God, not an audience.

Matthew 6:8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

After this manner. This prayer is not technically “the Lord's prayer” as it is commonly called, for He never prayed it Himself (note Matthew 6:12). Rather, it serves as a model prayer for His followers. It was not intended as a ritualistic prayer for regular recital, but rather a guide for praying “after this manner.” The Lord Jesus gave many other commands to pray (e.g., Matthew 7:7-11; 9:38; 17:20-21; 18:19-20; 21:21-22; 26:41; Luke 18:1, 7; John 14:13-14; 15:7, 16; 16:23-24)—all of which give further instruction on the vital subject of how believers should pray.

Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Thy kingdom come. Note the principle of beginning our prayers neither with personal thanksgiving or personal requests, but rather of acknowledging our Creator's purposes for His creation. Focus on God's will is of primary importance (far more so than our personal needs).

Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.

Thy will. This is the first occurrence of the word “will” in the New Testament, and it is noteworthy that it refers to God's will—not man's. The last occurrence is in Revelation 4:11, there translated “pleasure,” but again referring to God's will.

daily bread. This is the only occurrence in the New Testament of the Greek word here translated “daily” (except for the same sentence in Luke 11:3), but the Lord does note here that we should ask for our physical needs one day at a time.

Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Amen. The remarkable word “amen” closes this model prayer taught by Christ, as well as the Bible itself (Revelation 22:21). Its meaning is “so it will be;” it is thus an expression of faith in God and His promises. It was transliterated directly from the Hebrew into Greek and then into most other languages, so that it is practically a universal word, especially among Christians in every nation. It is even one of the titles of Christ (Revelation 3:14). In Hebrew it is almost identical with the Hebrew word aman, meaning “believe” or “faithful.” All of God's promises in Christ “are yea, and in Him Amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20).

Matthew 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

Matthew 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 6:16 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.

when ye fast. There is no commandment in the New Testament requiring fasting and only one in the Old Testament, assuming that the command to “afflict your souls” on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:29) refers to fasting. However, voluntary fasting is appropriate on special occasions of great concern or need, provided that the motivation is not just to appear spiritual to other people but to pray more single-mindedly to God.

Matthew 6:17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;

Matthew 6:18 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.

Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

Matthew 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

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

Matthew 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

Matthew 6:23 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!

Matthew 6:24 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.

serve God and mammon. See notes on Luke 16:8-10.

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought 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?

Matthew 6:26 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?

Matthew 6:27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

taking thought. The phrase “take thought” (Matthew 6:25, 27, 28, 31, 34) connotes “take anxious thought”—that is, to worry or be anxious. A believer should not be slothful or imprudent, and certainly not greedy or miserly, but should honor the Lord in all aspects of life, having faith that God will supply his needs (Matthew 6:33; Philippians 4:19).

Matthew 6:28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

Matthew 6:29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Matthew 6:30 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?

Matthew 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

Matthew 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

kingdom of God. This is the first use of the phrase “the kingdom of God,” which occurs five times in Matthew and frequently in the other gospels. The equivalent term “kingdom of heaven” is used only in Matthew (see note on Matthew 3:2).

Matthew 6:34 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.