Matthew 6:16 - 8:34

Matthew 6

:16-18  Fasting

:16  when ye fast

Fasting is an exercise of denying the flesh.

Usually we think of it as going without food for a period of time.

There is a spiritual benefit as we learn how to "put the flesh under".

We saw in Mat.4 that Jesus practiced fasting.

But don't do it to draw attention to yourself.


You don't need to be impressing others with your spirituality.

God is the only one we need to worry about impressing.

Just as when we pray:  Do we pray because other people are in the room and listening?  Or are we really praying to get God's ear?

:19-34  God will take care of you

:19-21  treasures in heaven

:21  where your treasure is...

Have you ever had something stolen?  Something that broke?

Let it be a reminder that our treasures are to be in heaven, not on earth.

:22-24  Single-eye-edness

:23  if thine eye be evil

If your eye is looking around in too many directions (not singly), then it's not going to have much light coming in.

God wants us single-mindedly focused on Him.

:24  mammon

riches, money.

:25-34  Don't Worry!

:25  Take no thought

This phrase is found six times in the next few verses.

It means, "Don't worry"

God is really concerned that you learn not to worry.

:25  Is not the life more than meat (food), and the body than raiment (clothes)?

Nowadays you kind of wonder.

"Clothes make the man", "Dress for success"

:26  Are ye not much better than they?

Well, are you?

Are you more important to God than a little bird?

Some of you might actually have a hard time answering that, so let me answer it for you, YES!

Is God going to care for you?

:33  seek ye first

Keeping in mind the "single-eye".

Keep your eyes on Jesus.

This is our responsibility.

Let God do the worrying.

:34  Take therefore no thought for the morrow

Matthew 6:34-NIV Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 7

:1-5  Don't judge

:1  judge not

krinw - to judge, or condemn


Too Many Umbrellas

   The story is told of Mr. Jones who picked up the wrong umbrella in a hotel lobby and was about to walk out when the rightful owner called attention to his mistake.  Embarrassed, he offered his apologies. Finding his own, he went on his way.

   The incident, however, reminded him that he had promised to buy both his wife and daughter an umbrella.  To his delight he found that a local store nearby had them on sale, so he bought two.  Just as he was getting into his car with his unwrapped purchases, he saw the man he had encountered earlier. He was eyeing him suspiciously.  Seeing the three umbrellas hooked over his arm, the stranger exclaimed sarcastically, "I see you had a good day after all!"  Although Mr. Jones blushed, he was not guilty of any wrongdoing.

:3  the mote ... the beam

mote:  karfos 1) a dry stalk or twig, a straw 2) chaff

Notice the comparison, a little twig and a huge beam.

Often, when we find ourselves being critical of others,  the twig is in the other person's eye, while a beam is in our own eye.


The point is that what we often find in others to be critical about is often the very thing that we are struggling with ourselves.

When you find yourself critical of others, is it really you that is having a problem?

Next time you catch yourself being critical of somebody, you'd better take a good long look in the mirror.

:5  Thou hypocrite

This is the last of four references that Jesus makes to hypocrites.

hupokrites - a play actor, pretending to be something you're not.

Four qualities of hypocrites:

Sounding the trumpet when giving.

Matthew 6:2-AV Therefore when thou doest [thine] alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Praying to be noticed.

Matthew 6:5-AV And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites [are]: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Fasting to be noticed.

Matthew 6:16-AV Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Judging others when you have a problem yourself.

Matthew 7:5-AV Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

:5  first cast out

It's not that we can't do anything about problems others might have in their lives.

But we'd better be sure to taking care of our own problems before we take a whack at other people's problems.

:6  pearls before swine

:6  holy unto the dogs

Meat that had been consecrated to God couldn't even be eaten by unclean people, let alone wild scavenging dogs.

It made the meat unholy.

 ... pearls ... swine

Pigs were the scavengers along with dogs in that day.

They could mistake the pearls for food or trash, and it wouldn't do them any good anyhow.


There are times when a person you're talking to is obviously not open to the things of God, and you shouldn't be wasting your time on them.

Sound cruel?  Sound judgemental?  Look at Jesus' example:

Matthew  21:27.

The chief priests were trying to trap Jesus, but He stumped them with a hard question,

27  And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

:7-11  Just Ask

:7  Ask ... seek ... knock


1.  Persistence

All three words are a present imperative tense in Greek - continual action.

2.  Building intensity

There is a building of intensity in the words used here.

Asking is a simple use of voice, seeking is a motion of the body, and knocking is an effort to open and pass through obstacles. (McGarvey TFG 264)

:11  your Father ... give good things

There's a play on the heartstrings here, between a daddy and his son.

God is our Heavenly Father, who loves us so much more than any earthly dad could.

The Points:

1.  Don't be afraid of coming to God with your requests.

He's not going to say, "Aha! Now I have you groveling on your face!"

2.  God's answers to prayer are good.

His answers to your prayers are going to be for the best.

You can trust Him to give you what's best, no matter what it is you're asking Him for.

Romans  12:1-2. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. 2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.


What if God doesn't give me what I ask for?

Maybe it's not as good for me as I think it is.

Maybe I'm not ready for it yet.

:12  Golden Rule

:12  do ye even so to them

Think about how you treat others.

I remember as a child, being taught this as the Golden Rule, and really trying hard to do this.

:13-14  The Narrow Gate

:14  narrow is the way

The entrance into God's Kingdom is not on a twelve lane superhighway.

It's a narrow, one-lane road.

John 14:6-AV Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

All roads do not lead to God.

:15-20  Judging prophets

:16  you shall know them by their fruits

Our principle back in 7:1 doesn't apply across the board.

It's not that we aren't to be discerning of people.

We need to be cautious of what we receive from people, especially if they're claiming to speak for God.

We are to judge by the fruits.

What's the outcome of this person's life and teaching?

I personally have a hard time with this guy on TV who wears strange outfits, smokes cigars, and yells and curses at the TV set.  I don't see a lot of good fruit.


When someone promises to change their behavior, watch for the fruit.

:21-23  Lord, Lord

:21  Not every one that saith ...

Don't you find this disturbing?

Look at all the spiritual things these people have done in their life, yet they didn't know Jesus!

True faith, true confession with the lips is matched by a changed life.

It's not just going forward at an altar call.

It's calling on the Lord in reality, and letting Him change your life that counts.

:24-27  Built on the Rock


Both men had the opportunity to build something with their lives.

Both had the same advantages to start with:  Both heard Jesus' words.

Both went through storms.  The storms will come for everyone.

Jesus doesn't even promise to take you out of the storm!

But one man's house stood, the other fell.

The difference?

It's not just hearing the words of Jesus, it's not enough to go to church and listen to Bible studies.

What counts is obedience to the Word.

It's not how much you get into God's Word, it's how much of God's Word gets into you.

:28-29  Jesus' authority

:29  not as the scribes

They spoke on the authority of Moses or the elders, but Jesus taught by his own authority. Their way was to quote minute precedents supported by endless authorities. A passage taken from later rabbinical writings starts thus: "Rabbi Zeira says, on the authority of Rabbi Jose bar Rabbi Chanina, and Rabbi Ba or Rabbi Chija on the authority of Rabbi Jochanan," etc.

Contrast this with the oft-repeated "I say to you" of Jesus. For example, # Mt 5:18,20,22,26,28,34 (McGarvey TFG 166-167)

How could Jesus teach with such authority?

Because He was God.  He wrote the Scriptures through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.


I don't think that we should then stop reading what other Bible teachers have to say about the Bible.  After all, we're not Jesus.  And God has given a gift of teaching to help us understand His Word, and some teachers have written their teaching down in books.

But we do need to learn to depend upon the Holy Spirit to be our teacher.

1John 2:27-AV But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

Matthew 8

:1-4  Healing the leper

:2  Lord, if thou wilt ...

I think this is a great pattern to pray, "If thou wilt..."

:4  See thou tell no man

Quite the difference from our thinking today.

Today we would probably want to schedule a press conference.

The next step would be to start advertising, "Miracle Service Tomorrow at 11:00"

Jesus wasn't out to promote Himself.

1Corinthians 13:5-AV love ... seeketh not her own ...

:4  shew theyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded for a testimony unto them.

The gift -

Leviticus 14 - the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing.

Two birds, cedar wood, scarlet thread, hyssop.

Strange that God would include such a law for a disease of which there was no known cure at that time.

Jesus' heart was for a simple, but powerful witness.

:5-13  The Centurion's Faith

:5  a centurion

A Roman military officer, corresponding to our captain. All Palestine was under Roman military government at this time, with headquarters at Caesarea, and soldiers in every leading town. This centurion probably commanded the company stationed at Capernaum. He was, of course, a Gentile. (PNT 50)

:11  many shall come

Jesus is saying that there will be Gentiles in heaven.

This is a radical statement for a Jew to be making.

To the Jews, the Gentiles were only created to be fuel for the fires of hell.

:12  the children of the kingdom shall be cast out

{The sons of the kingdom} A favourite Hebrew idiom like "son of hell" (#Mt 23:15|), "sons of this age" (#Lu 16:8|). The Jews felt that they had a natural right to the privileges of the kingdom because of descent from Abraham (#Mt 3:9|). But mere natural birth did not bring spiritual sonship as the Baptist had taught before Jesus did. (RWP)

:13  and his servant was healed

Much of His earthly healing ministry involved Jesus being in a place to heal.

But Jesus isn't limited to physical locality.

All He needs to do is "speak the word".

After all, wasn't it His words that flung the worlds into existence?


Prayer isn't limited to physical locality.

You, in your prayer closet, can "touch" missionaries in the Philippines.

:14-15  Peter's Mother-in-law

:14  his wife's mother

Interesting note that the guy whom the Catholics call the first pope, was married!

:15  she arose, and ministered to them

Hey, not all mother-in-laws are so bad!

:16-17  Exorcism and healing

:16  he cast out the spirits with his word

I love the power of Jesus!

All He has to do is speak!

Let the Lord handle the evil spirits!

Knock at the door, Satan is standing there.  "Lord, it's for you..."

:18-22  Difficulties in following Jesus

:20  the Son of man hath not where to lay his head

It's not going to be easy to follow Jesus.

It's not like He's going to put you up in a four-star hotel.


Don't follow Jesus if you have to be comfortable.

:21  bury my father

The man isn't saying that his father just died, and he needs a few days to straighten things out.

It's more likely that the father is alive and healthy, and the son feels a responsibility to stick around on the family farm until dad gets old and dies.


Jesus wants to be a higher priority than your family.

:23-27  Calming the sea

:24  but he was asleep

It sure seems sometimes that when we're in the midst of horrible problems, that Jesus must certainly be asleep.

Psalms 121:4-AV Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

:26  Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?

What we forget is that Jesus is in our boat!

:27  the men marvelled

I wonder if the disciples have yet fully grasped just who Jesus is.

Later, they will have another encounter with a storm at sea, and Peter will even walk on water with Jesus.  At that time, their response is:

 Matthew 14:33-AV Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

But for now, they're just scratching their heads and wondering.

:28-34  Teenage mutant ninja pigs

:29  to torment us before the time?

What an interesting statement!

Sometimes we get the feeling that the devil doesn't know what his end is.  Wrong.

Revelation 20:10-AV And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

The best we can figure is that the devil knows his end, and is going to take as many as he can with him.

:31  suffer us to go away into the herd of swine

For homework:

Matthew  12:43-45  When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44  Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth [it] empty, swept, and garnished. 45  Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last [state] of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

:33  they that kept them

These weren't wild pigs, they were domesticated pigs.

This was against the Jewish law.  Pigs were unclean animals.

In modern America, it would be as if Jesus cast the demons into a herd of horses who trampled the fields of marijuana that the people were growing.

:34  they besought him that he would depart

Some people just don't want Jesus in their lives.

He's too radical.

He's going to make too many uncomfortable changes.