The Gospel of Matthew: Do Not Be Anxious

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?” (Matthew 6:25 (ESV)

In the immediate aftermath of teaching His disciples, among others, about not treasuring earthly treasures, Jesus addressed the subject of anxiety. Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. Two of the most common objects of worry for people has always been health and wealth; or the lack thereof.

“Having told us not to store up earthly treasures (Matt. 6:19–24), in today’s passage Jesus anticipates an objection to His teaching. Sure, some may think, it is easy to tell us not to pursue earthly treasures, but we need money and other goods to meet our needs. Will we not worry if we do not go after such treasures? After all, how will we afford to eat, buy clothes, and so on without money,” explains Dr. R. C. Sproul.

Jesus invoked His own authority when He declared, “Therefore I tell you.” He then said, “Do not be anxious about your life.” The phrase do not be anxious (μεριμνάω; merimnao) is a present active imperative command from the Lord. Therefore, it is a command that we must obey. It means to not be concerned.

About what are believers in Christ to not be concerned? Jesus said to not be concerned about your life. Life (ψυχή; psyche) refers to the intellect, emotions and will of an individual. Jesus taught that we should not be worried in our thinking, feelings and decisions.

Jesus then spoke about what people normally think, feel and choose with anxiety. It involves what we will eat, drink, and what clothing we will wear. Things have not changed in 2,000 years.

Jesus taught that our thoughts, emotions and decision should not be driven by worry about what we will eat, drink and wear. He concluded that life should be more than the food we consume and the clothes we wear.

“Our Savior’s answer to this unstated problem is simple: “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” (v. 25a). In the examples that follow, Jesus shows us why we need not fret about such things. But before we get into these reasons, note that Christ is not here commending a lackadaisical approach to life in which we expect everything to fall into our laps. Nor does His teaching release us from the duty to feed our families. Scripture is clear that we should be industrious, just like the ants (Prov. 6:6–11), and that anyone who does not provide for his family is worse than the unbeliever who does (1 Tim. 5:8). Even so, toiling away out of fear for the future is not the same thing as God-glorifying labor,” concludes Dr. Sproul.  

Obedience to Jesus’ command will be followed by logical reasons for such obedience. I encourage you to read Matthew 6:26-34. Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Soli deo Gloria!   

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