25. For this reason I say unto you, Take no
thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for
your body, what ye shall put on. "For this reason"—for what
reason? Because concern over money drives a man away from God. The soul does
not eat, for it is bodiless, but Jesus said this according to the common use of
the word. For it is obvious that the soul does not consent to remain in a body
if the flesh is not fed. Jesus does not forbid us to work, but rather He
forbids us to give ourselves over entirely to our cares and to neglect God.
Hence we must work for our livelihood while not neglecting the soul. Is not
life more than food, and the body more than raiment? This means, will not He
Who gave what is greater, life itself, and fashioned the body, will He not also
give food and clothing?
26. Behold the birds of the air: for they sow
not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet: your heavenly Father
feedeth them. Are ye not much more than they? Although He could have given
the example of Elijah and John the Baptist, instead He mentions the birds in
order to shame us, for we are even more witless than these creatures. God feeds
them by having given them the instinctive knowledge for finding food.
27. Which of you by taking thought can add one
cubit unto his stature? This means, even if you take the utmost care, you
can do nothing if God does not will it. Why then do you drive yourself to
exhaustion with futile worries?
28-29. And why take ye thought for raiment?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do
they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not
arrayed like one of these. He shames us not only by the birds, which lack
reason, but also by the lilies that wither. For if God adorned the lilies in
such a manner, without any necessity to do so, how much more will He fulfill
our own need for clothing? He shows that though you go to great lengths, you
are not able to be adorned as beautifully as the lilies. Even Solomon the most
wise and splendid, with all his kingdom at his disposal, could not array
himself in such a manner.
30. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of
the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not
much more clothe You, O ye of little faith? We learn from this that we
ought not to be concerned with beautifying ourselves, for our adornments wither
like the fading flowers. Therefore one who beautifies himself is like grass.
But you, He says, are creatures endowed with reason, whom God fashioned with
both soul and body. Those "of little faith" are all those who concern
themselves with such thoughts. For if they had perfect faith in God, they would
not give such anxious thoughts to these things.
31-32. Therefore take no thought, saying, What
shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For
after all these things do the Gentiles seek. He does not forbid us to eat,
but to say, "What shall we eat?" The rich say in the evening,
"What shall we eat tomorrow?" See that it is luxury and excess that
32-33. For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye
have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His
righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. The kingdom of
God is the enjoyment of all that is good. This comes through righteousness. To
him who seeks after spiritual things God in His generosity adds that which is
needed for physical life.
34. Take therefore no thought for the morrow:
for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the
day is the evil thereof. "The evil of the day" means the crushing
burden and pressure. It is sufficient for you that you are afflicted by today's
burden. If you also take thought for tomorrow, and continually burden yourself
for the sake of bodily things, when will you have time for God?
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