Summary: Lesson 29
As Jesus continues His Sermon on the Mount, He addresses an issue that most of us are all too familiar with, and that is the issue of worry. Perhaps it will bring some comfort to know that we are not the first people to ever have to worry or be anxious about paying our bills, feeding our families, pleasing our employers, raising our children, paying our taxes, or any number of other issues that seem to be responsible for generating an excessive amount of anxiety.
It should be clear that in this passage, Jesus is not promoting carelessness and irresponsibility as a kind of hallmark of the faith. There is nothing wrong with being cautious and prudent in certain areas of life, but there is a problem when it comes to being engulfed by a foreboding sense of anxiety as we face each day. This is what Jesus is addressing in this passage.
I. THE PROBLEM THAT IS CONFRONTED vs. 25-32
In confronting the problem of worry, Jesus speaks of our:
1. Our fear is Unnecessary
a. In verses 25 and 31 we are told in no uncertain terms that we are not to worry about what we’re going to eat, drink, or wear.
b. Jesus uses the birds of the air to illustrate why it is not necessary for us to worry (verse 26).
(1) Man is better than the birds. Man is a higher being, on a much higher level of creation, than animals. He is the crown jewel of God’s creation. Man, not animals, was made in the image and likeness of God.
(2) God is the "Creator" of birds, but He is the "Father" of man. Only man has the capability of having a personal relationship with God.
(3) Man (a believer) is an heir of God. He will one day receive all that is Jesus Christ’s (Romans 8:16-17).
c. Jesus also uses the flowers of the field to illustrate the needless worry that is so often a part of our lives (verse 28).
(1) Lilies grow from a deep root. The roots are where they belong, they are in the soil where they can receive nourishment. Our roots as believers are not to be in the material things that this world has to offer. If we are going to receive the spiritual nourishment we need to properly grow, we must have our roots deep in the things of our heavenly Father.
(2) Lilies do not toil or spin to adorn themselves with beauty. The beauty of the lily comes naturally as they go about their purpose in the world. As children of God, we are not to worry and work ourselves to the bone in order to cover and adorn ourselves with the artificial and superficial coverings of appearance. Our beauty ought to be seen in the peacefulness and satisfaction that comes from trusting in the Lord.
(3) Lilies die from the weather. They drop to the ground, decay, pass out of existence, and are gone forever. In like manner, so do the temporal things of this life. However, man is immortal, he exists forever. For that reason, man is to center his life on God and His righteousness.
d. If God is kind enough to take care of plants and animals which are far from being His favored creation, why should we, the greatest of all His creation, have to worry?
2. Our fear is Unproductive
a. Verse 27
b. Usually when we think of "stature" we think in terms of physical size, but a look at the meaning of the Greek word helikia (hay-lik-ee’-ah) will show that "stature" means "maturity in years or size."
c. The point that Jesus makes is that no one can add to either their height or span of life by worry. As a matter of fact, medical have shown that excessive worry tends to shorten life if anything.
3. Our fear is Uncharacteristic
a. Verse 32a
b. The word "Gentile" is used to speak of the lost.
c. Jesus says that worry over what we’re going to eat, drink, and wear, is very uncharacteristic of a saved person. As a matter of fact, it’s more characteristic of someone who does not know Christ as their Saviour.
d. The lost are all wrapped up in these sorts of things. They know nothing else. All they know is seeking and securing all they can of what this world has to offer. They seek the "good life" that comes from possessions. Life to them is money, houses, furnishings, food, cars, television, toys, clothing, recreation, property . . . all the material things of this world that give comfort, pride, power, fame, and recognition.
1. Verse 30
2. Whether we like to admit it or not, our worry is the result of weak faith.