Summary: The Evil of Anxiety and Worry attack non-Christians and Christians alike; Jesus explains the meaning and prescription for "worry" in His "Sermon on the Mount".
Worry and the King’s Care in the EVERYDAY
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount contains the realities of being a citizen of the Kingdom of God. In the week in which we celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus, Matthew 6:24-34 is very appropriate in considering the King’s Care for His Kingdom citizens in the “everyday” of their lives.
Last week we ended with Matthew 6:24: "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” We saw that Jesus was saying that it’s impossible for a servant to be devoted 100% to God, and then try to serve another master part-time. If you are devoted to God, you are devoted to no one or nothing else. Your undivided devotion is only to God and to His Kingdom and household, not to another.
Then in verse 25, Jesus says: "For this reason (or, therefore: everything that Jesus said about the two treasures and the two visions in verses 19-24 is connected to the following) I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26 "Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 "And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 "And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 "But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! (Gr.:“Oligopistos”, trusting little.) 31 (THEREFORE, word left out in the NASB) "Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will wear for clothing?'
To be “worried” is to have a divided and separated HEART. The word “WORRY” In Matthew 6 comes from the root word “Merizo”: to divide to separate into parts, cut into pieces. (It is the word used in Matt.12:25 when Jesus said: "Any kingdom DIVIDED against itself is laid waste; and any city or house DIVIDED against itself will not stand.” When we worry, we divide and separate ourselves from the purposes and power of God. When we worry, we are telling God that we trust Him so little, that even though we believe Him to be the Creator of everything, and the Savior of all who believe in Him, that we don’t BELIEVE that God can take care of us: We are “Oligopistos”- Little faiths.
Just as Jesus demonstrated that obeying the Law is far more than an external exercise, WORRY is far more than being overly CONCERNED: Worry is having a DIVIDED HEART toward the Eternal King.
A Divided Heart about FOOD
If you are worried about what you will eat or drink or what you will wear, maybe you are serving and worshiping THE idol of FOOD: This isn’t to say that you always have to eat the best food, nor that you are a practicing glutton. On the other hand, those who show no regard for what they are eating, or eating nothing but rice and water, are not necessarily any “BETTER” because of their extreme piety or poverty, because their hearts may still be in divided toward God.
One of the examples Jesus gives is the feeding habits of birds; The Creator God has established a creation for the birds and beasts in which they will be fed; they just have to go out, find food and eat it. They are not concerned about the process: Birds don’t hoard things as if God will go on vacation and allow them to go hungry. Birds don’t build barns to store huge surpluses. They eat what God provides for them.
If God brought YOU into His Kingdom and under HIS KINGDOM RULE, if He has saved you, don’t you think that He can also FEED you? He is the FATHER of those WHOM HE HAS SAVED but He is not the Father of the birds, YET He takes care of both them. If He cares for the birds, He will certainly care for you.
He is not endorsing laziness or endorsing a mass welfare system because even the birds work hard every day looking for food. Birds don’t trust God, but as children of the King, WE DO. We can go about our work that God provides, we can go to sleep at night, and rest and trust that God will be God tonight and still be God tomorrow, and He will still provide and care for us: As THE Compassionate and Loving Father AND King, He will provide our daily bread, as well as the Living Bread of Life.