27 February 2011

Matthew 6:25-34

"So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today." (v. 34)


This reading comes from the chapters in Matthew's Gospel that are referred to as "The Sermon on the Mount" (the first of five teaching blocks in Matthew). In fact, Matthew's Gospel has been characterised very much as a 'teaching Gospel'. But the Sermon on the Mount is not just one sermon given at one time, the listeners would have given up and gone home if they had had to listen to all of this in one sitting. What we have here is a collection of Jesus' teachings and particularly his instructions to his disciples, both the inner circle of 12 whose names we know (Matthew 10:2-4) and the wider group of people who followed him. These chapters are a distillation of those teachings which Jesus considered most important.

This particular passage is urging those who would be disciples not to allow anxiety to rule their lives. Jesus is not saying that people shouldn't plan ahead and exercise ordinary, common-sense prudent foresight; rather that people should have faith and confidence that the God who gave us life will look after us. Worry and anxiety about things we cannot control are an indication of a lack of faith in God. Jesus is urging his followers to live in the present, to learn to live a day at a time and make the most of the present moment.

To Ponder

What sorts of worries most often pre-occupy your mind?

What might you be able to do to stop you worrying about at least one of them?

Despite all the difficulties that Jesus faced he was basically a happy person who lived in the present moment. To what extent are you a happy person? What sort of things make you most happy?

Bible notes author

The Revd Jennifer Potter

The Revd Jennifer Potter is a Methodist minister at Wesley's Chapel, City Road, London. Prior to being appointed to serve there she worked in the Connexional Team from 1996-2002 as the secretary for international affairs.