Yesterday I preached on Matthew 6:19-34. After studying the passage, I paraphrased it to help me get my head around what Jesus was communicating. I find that reading Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase, “The Message,” illuminates certain passages for me that I’ve become too familiar with. I hope this will be a similar experience for you.
Matthew 6:19-34 (paraphrased)
- 19. Don’t hurriedly try to amass and consume the things the world values. That’s a futile endeavor. Things have a shelf life.
- 20. Stockpile treasure in heaven. It’s infinite, doesn’t corrode, and can’t be stolen.
- 21. Whatever you treasure has your heart.
- 22. Keep your eyes pure. They direct your whole body. If you fix your eyes on God, your body will be full of light.
- 23. But if the enemy or culture or marketing executives get your eye, your whole body will be full of darkness.
- 24. You can’t serve two masters. Either you’ll hate one and love the other or you’ll devote your life to one and despise the other. You can’t serve the creator-God and the god of mammon.
- 25. So, don’t worry about anything–food, drink, your wardrobe, your body. Isn’t life more than that?
- 26. Look at the birds. They have a terrible investment portfolio. Yet the Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth a lot more than pigeons, you tiny-faiths?
- 27. By worrying can you add a single minute to life? Can you add an inch to your stature? What is worrying accomplishing for you?
- 28. Why do you worry about clothes? Look at wildflowers. They grow without much effort on their part. The creator waters and they grow.
- 29. Yet despite their continually terrible performance reviews, they exhibit more beauty than every a-lister at The Oscars.
- 30. God does that for flowers on the backsides of mountains no one ever sees. Is it outlandish then to think he’ll clothe you? Have faith!
- 31. So quit worrying–filling your mind with endless possibilities of things going terribly wrong. Don’t worry about your plate–it’ll be covered. Don’t worry about your cup–it’ll be filled. Don’t worry about your body–it’ll be clothed.
- 32. Pagans are caught up in those pursuits. Your Father knows every need of your life more intimately than you do.
- 33. Seek the kingdom (God’s active rule on the earth) first and his righteousness and everything else will fall into place.
- 34. Live in this moment. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Let it worry about itself. A single day has enough going on without you adding tomorrow’s worries to it.