This past week I preached on this text as part of our “InstaJesus” Series:
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? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:25-34
There is so much in this text! But, I want to say one thing about it today: every text in the New Testament assumes that people have anxiety. And every text assumes we can be free of it.
When we jump too quickly into the commands (and there are 6 in this short passage), we miss the assumption. Similarly, in Paul’s letter to the Philippians, if we miss the fact that Paul assumes we are anxious, we can jump too quickly into ‘what we do about it’. Men and women feel enough shame for their anxiety. I know I do. Peter assumes that many of the followers of Jesus are anxious; why else would he write “cast your anxieties upon Him”.
Jesus assumes men and women are anxious. So does Paul. So does Peter.
I’m going to stop there, because hearing this one thing is important.