What are your worries today? Food, clothing, water?
Matthew 6:25 says this: “‘For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing?”
As most of the modern world would define it, most of the people hearing Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount were “poor.” Most people in that era lived from day to day. For some, what they earned each day was all they had to live on for the next day. When Jesus instructed these people to pray for “daily bread,” it resonated with their life experience. They might have struggled more with Jesus’ teaching in the previous verses: not to obsess over wealth, but to focus on godly and eternal rewards.
The idea here is not to serve money over God.
He commands His followers not to worry about their lives, including what they will eat or drink or wear. People of the ancient world often wore the same one or two sets of clothes until they fell into rags. A large part of each day would be focused on obtaining, preparing, or earning money for food. Jesus points out that life is about more than what we eat and what we wear—God has purposes for us beyond those temporary details.
Jesus is not telling His followers to quit their jobs. He is not telling them to simply sit idly and wait for God to supernaturally provide. Nor is He suggesting it’s wrong to earn money to provide for their families. He is not telling His followers they should not wisely save for future needs. In keeping with the rest of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is commanding His listeners to take control of what is going on in their minds and hearts. The word translated “worry” or “be anxious” here is merimnate. This can mean to care for or think about something. In this context, it means to obsess or agonize. Jesus’ point here is not that we should be careless, but that we should not be fearful.
In a meaningful sense, living in constant worry about money is a way of “serving” money instead of serving God. Living in fear Jesus says, is not the point of real life.
Oh, this last sentence. Drives the point home doesn’t it. To live in fear. That means that when living that way, surrender and trust have taken a back seat and fear has set it.
That we would and deal with our money responsibly so that we can learn to trust God more and lean more into our faith that He will provide.