As we finish the sixth chapter of Matthew’s gospel today, we continue to hear from Jesus about worry. This mountainside sermon still has a ways to go, but we’ve rounded the bend. How are you holding up? I wonder how his listeners were holding up by this point. This radical rabbi was hammering his point about worry, knowing that it was easier said than done for most. He continues:
And why do you worry about clothes? Observe how the wildflowers of the field grow: They don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these. If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t he do much more for you—you of little faith?
So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.Matthew 6:28-32 CSB
Jesus uses nature to illustrate his points because nature points to him.
First, he spoke about birds, and how they are an example of our need to not over plan or hoard. Now, he talks about wildflowers, maybe even picking up one at his feet or gesturing with his arm to those spread around them.
Wildflowers don’t make an effort to be something they are not. God created them with their own unique and wondrous beauty, that even surpasses that of Solomon in all his kingly robes. If God gives beauty to the short-lived flower, why do we worry about clothing, thinking it will add to our own?
When we put our faith in God, we push worry aside.
Yes, we eat, drink, and pick out clothes to wear, but it does not consume our thoughts or bring cause to worry. Jesus clearly states that worry is an attribute for another group of people—Gentiles. Before you draw the wrong conclusion, know that in referring to the Gentiles, he simply means people who are outside the family of God. The Jews sitting at his feet should know better—they had a long history with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This was the God who had led his people through the Red Sea, enabled them to conquer other nations, and provided them with a land that was not their own.
If the God they knew had done all this and more, why were they worrying over the small details of life? So, again, they should nip worry in the bud and seek his kingdom and righteousness first and foremost. That’s the meal we should covet and crave: everything else was just on the side.
After sharing this life-changing thought about seeking the kingdom, I love how Jesus adds a therefore to draw it all into a neat package.
We can be a bit like Miss Scarlett with a twist when worry raises its ugly head. Instead of saying, “I’ll think about that tomorrow,” we can say, “I’ll leave that to God for tomorrow. I choose to focus on today.”
Where is your faith when it comes to your basic needs? Feeling the need to hoard or dress up, because you feel like you’re not beautiful with a simple wardrobe? Try adjusting your view to that of God’s Kingdom and letting his righteousness flow through you.
Cast all your cares on Him, for God does so much care for you.
Grace and Peace