Welcome to the fifth part of the 3rd course of Red Bricks.
Read Matthew 6:25-34
If you have just read the text for this study in anything other than the King James Version, you will notice that the passage essentially calls us not to worry. This is always to be seen as good advice but, you should note that in the entire Strong’s Concordance of the Whole Bible (a book that lists every word from the original scrolls and gives their original meanings), the word worry does not appear once.
Let us be clear about this, in the original sacred texts from which the Bible, as we know it, was translated, a word that could be directly translated as worry, does not exist. This may surprise you. What you might consider even more surprising is that the word worry didn’t appear in any language until the mid 1600s.
You should be asking, around about now, that if the word worry didn’t exist until the 17th century, how can Yeshua (Jesus’ Hebrew name) be quoted as saying it from the 1st century? Good question.
Worry is a relatively modern word. And, when you consider it, it is a relatively modern condition too. In this late hour, people are worried. Life is full of things which we find to worry about. For the moment, I suggest that you leave all that aside and try to get into the mind of Christ in order to gain full understanding of exactly what He was saying.
The King James Version of the Bible renders verse 25 of the text like this:
“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?”
Take no thought.
Whilst it is fairly easy to understand why some of the more modern translations of the Bible have used the word worry to convey what Yeshua is saying, I suspect that their attempt to make the Word of God more relevant for a contemporary audience, has in fact taken something away from His true meaning.
To take no thought means not to spend any time thinking about something; to give no regard to the situation; to not think about it at all. This is very different from not worrying about something, because you can still think about something, even if you refrain from worrying about it. Yeshua’s words to us are for us to give no thought to these things at all.
To say do not worry implies that there is something to worry about, whereas, if we practice not thinking about something, there comes a sense of peace and security. Y’shua is telling us that God has it all covered. He makes the clear statement that life itself is far more important a consideration than anything we eat or wear. This isn’t a ‘bury your head in the sand’ approach. This is learning to trust in God.
Throughout this teaching, Y’shua has pointed us in the direct of our spiritual life. Here He is empathizing just how much more important it is than our physical lives. It is easy for us to focus entirely upon our physical lives because our world is governed by our senses. We can’t see the spirit realm and so it makes understanding it difficult.
Using the example of birds and how they live from day to day, Y’shua encourages us to think like them. Birds don’t plan for the future by sowing and reaping their food. Each new day they trust in the Creator to provide for them. We too, should see the world the same way as the birds do.
Yeshua points out that we are of a much greater value to God than the birds, and should exhibit enough confidence to know that He will provide for us so much more than He does for the birds. With that comes a challenge for us all – which of us by thinking on things like food can add anything to what we already are? The answer is, we can’t, so it is a pointless exercise; it won’t affect the outcome.
Yeshua then applies exactly the same principle to what we wear by liking us to the flowers in the field. They just grow – relying on God for sunlight and rain. They have no need to labour in this – God will do what He has always done, and look after them, just as He wants to look after us…if we let Him.
He is telling us that, like the birds of the air and the plants of the field, we need to adopt a simple trust in the Creator of heaven and earth. He will provide exactly what we need, without us giving any thought to it. In fact, the implication (and my personal experience) is that the moment that you start to give thought to these matters, God graciously walks away and allows us to fend for ourselves. He will never impinge upon our freewill.
We just need faith. The word faith is the same as trust. Learn to trust everything that God says. He is telling you that He will meet all of your needs. If you stay focused on the important matters, the matters of our spirit, then He will take care of the rest. A simple, but childlike faith and trust in our heavenly Father.
He finishes by saying that if we keep focused upon His Kingdom, that is making Him Lord over everything in our lives, including what we will eat or wear, then He, in return, will take complete care of us. We will be as a loyal subject in a kingdom with a caring king.
To seek first His kingdom and His righteousness means that we always put His will before ours. He is the King of kings. We should enthrone Him in our hearts and faithfully trust in Him for all of our needs , both spiritual and physical. He is able to meet them all, with ease. We can’t attain righteousness under our own efforts, but by remaining faithful to Him and His words, we are given His righteousness.
Give no thought to the things that the world tells us we should worry about. God is telling us that we have no need to worry. He has it covered. Trust in Him, and you will see just how true that is.