Summary: Four reasons why worry, being anxious, is wrong: it is 1) Unfaithful because of our Master; 2) Unnecessary because of our Father; 3) Unreasonable because of our faith; and it is 4) Unwise because of our future.
Format Note: The Basic format for this sermon came from:(MacArthur, J. F. (1985). The MacArthur New Testament Commentary. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Matthew). Winona Lake, IN: BMH Books.)
During a Funeral this week in GLIWICE, Poland, large photographs of Robert Dziekanski’s final hysterical moments were displayed before dying in the grip of Taser-wielding Mounties in Vancouver.
Four Mounties using Tasers subdued an anxious and agitated Dziekanski at the Vancouver airport in October. Dziekanski died soon after being shocked with the weapons.
At the funeral, Dziekanski’s mother looked at the photographs and said: "He looks like a terrorist in these pictures, but he was scared," she explained. "Robert was at a breaking point. He could show his desperation in no other way. He wanted someone to help him." (National Post: Peter O’Neil, Europe Correspondent, CanWest News Service: Published: Monday, November 19, 2007)
Anyone who knows and loves Jesus Christ is capable of handling pressure. The wrong way to handle the stresses of life is to be anxious and worry about them. In Matthew 6, Jesus Himself said three times, “Do not be anxious” (Matt. 6:25, 31, 34). Anxiety and Worry at any time is a sin because it violates the clear biblical command.
We allow our daily concerns to turn into anxiety and therefore sin when our thoughts become focused on changing the future instead of doing our best to handle our present circumstances. Such thoughts are unproductive. They end up controlling us—though it should be the other way around—and cause us to neglect other responsibilities and relationships. That brings on legitimate feelings of guilt. If we don’t deal with those feelings in a productive manner by getting back on track with our duties in life, we’ll lose hope instead of finding answers. Anxiety, left unresolved, can debilitate one’s mind and body—and even lead to panic attacks.
(MacArthur, J., Jr. (1993). Anxiety attacked. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.)
The heart of Jesus’ message in our present passage is: Don’t be anxious-not even about necessities. He gives four reasons why worry, being anxious, is wrong: it is 1) Unfaithful because of our Master; 2) Unnecessary because of our Father; 3) Unreasonable because of our faith; and it is 4) Unwise because of our future.
1) ANXIETY IS UNFAITHFUL BECAUSE OF OUR MASTER (Matthew 6:25)
Matthew 6:25 "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. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (ESV)
Therefore refers back to the previous verse, in which Jesus declares that a Christian’s only Master is God.
In Matthew 6:19-24 Jesus focused on the attitude toward luxury, the unnecessary physical possessions people store and stockpile for selfish reasons. He talked about the man with the misplaced heart (Verse 21) and misdirected mind (Verses 22-23) who also suffers from a misaligned will, a will not in line with God’s will (Verse 24). In what we are looking at this morning in verses 25-34 Jesus focuses on the attitude toward what people eat, drink, and wear, the necessities of life that they absolutely must have to exist. The first passage is directed particularly at the rich and the second particularly at the poor.
Both being rich and being poor have their special spiritual problems. The rich are tempted to trust in their possessions, and the poor are tempted to doubt God’s provision. The rich are tempted to become self-satisfied in the false security of their riches, and the poor are tempted to have anxiety, worry and fear in the false insecurity of their poverty.
How important is this topic to God for our understanding?
Sixteen of the thirty-eight parables of Jesus deal with money. One out of ten verses in the New Testament also deals with that subject. Scripture offers about five hundred verses on prayer, fewer than five hundred on faith, and over two thousand on money.
In Matthew 6:25, Jesus is therefore saying, “Because God is your Master, I tell you, do not be anxious.” A bondslave’s only responsibility is to his master, and for believers to be anxious and worry is to be disobedient and unfaithful to their Master, who is God. For Christians, worry and anxiety are forbidden, foolish, and sinful.
In the Greek, the command do not be anxious includes the idea of stopping what is already being done. In other words, we are to stop worrying and never start it again. For your life makes the command all-inclusive. Psuchç (life) is a comprehensive term that encompasses all of a person’s being-physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Jesus is referring to life in its fullest possible sense. Absolutely nothing in any aspect of our lives, internal or external, justifies our being anxious when we have the Master we do. Life in the Kingdom of God is not just related to prayer or what might be relegated to “spiritual service” but all of life