THOUGHTS FROM MATTHEW

December 12

Text: Matthew 6:32-34

"For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (NASB)

Matthew saw Jesus as a man who looked at life and the world differently. Here the word "gentiles" accurately could be called the godless ones. (Remember, Jesus spoke to Jewish perspective.) Jesusí point: Faith in God changes the way a person looks at life and this world. Godless people define life in terms of clothing and foodóphysical necessities. Those who trust God see existence in this physical world as involving much more than the length of physical existence, obtaining food, and having clothing.

We often discuss a personís "world view." How does that person see the world? Who is important? What are the "worldís" basic objectives for life? Is it just "me and my interests?" Or "me and my family?" Or "me, my family, and those who agree with me?" Or "me, my family, those who agree with me, and my country?" Or "everyone in my culture?" Or "everyone in all cultures?" etc.

Note that Jesusí world view was composed of two things: (1) Godís kingdom and (2) Godís righteousness. True, both realities involved numerous considerations. However, the core of Jesusí mission involved the gospel of the kingdom (Matthew 4:23). Matthew also stressed the kingdom parables (see Matthew 13 and 25).

Here associate Godís kingdom with Godís rule and Godís righteousness with His concept of responsible relationship. In those considerations, the questions are (1) "When does God rule?" In an individualís surrender? Or a populationís? Or a cultureís? Or a societyís? (2) "What is Godís definition of righteousness?" Does it involve an individualís values? Or a countryís? Or an institutionís?

Note Jesus stressed two things. (1) If a person places Godís kingdom and righteousness in first importance, the opportunity to care for the physical will exist. (2) The only way to prepare for the uncertain human future is to focus responsibly on "now" realities.

Suggestion for reflection: What do you consider of ultimate value? (Read Matthew 6:24-31.)

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