Chapter 6


6:1-4 Jesus begins a new point in His sermon on attitude. In the public aspects of one’s faith, a humble attitude must be maintained. Worship is for the glorification of God, not self. Jesus already gave us permission to let our light shine before men (5:16). But if our intention is to draw attention to ourselves, we would be better off practicing our religion secretly.
6:5-15 Likewise, if you are praying publicly for self-glorification, go pray in your closet. Avoid vain repetition [babbling] when praying. Speak from your heart and speak to God. Don’t preach when you are praying. It’s ironic that many denominations use Jesus’ prayer example for vain repetition, exactly what He asked us not to do. He did not say this is WHAT you should pray; He said this is HOW you should pray. Addressing God as Father was sacrilegious to the Jews, but Jesus is encouraging intimacy with God. In heaven reminds us that although God is close He is also exalted and worthy of honor. Hallowed means sacred. Although we may address God intimately we are to still hold Him in utter sanctity. Your kingdom come, your will be done is a Hebraic parallelism; stating the same thing two different ways for emphasis. Jesus links the degree to which we receive forgiveness to the degree we extend it to others.
6:16-18 Fasting demonstrates dedication in one’s search for God. It is always accompanied with prayer in the Bible. Jesus does not say IF you fast. He says WHEN.
6:19-24 Verses 22-23 seem out of place until you read them in their context. The eye represents what our focus is on. You can focus on worldly gain, which eventually comes to nothing or you can focus on spiritual gain which lasts forever. Verse 24 explains that you cannot focus on both at the same time.
6:25-34 Jesus commands us not to worry. Therefore, worrying is a sin. It is of no benefit to our lives. How humbling to know that we must look to birds and grass for our example of worry-free living. Continuing the theme from the previous section, our focus is on the kingdom. When we do so, our needs will be taken care of.


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