It is hard to find the grand theme in the incredibly rich (truth-wise) sixth chapter of Matthew’s Gospel. It looks like a collection of Jesus’ teachings put together by Matthew in the middle of the sermon of the Mount. We need to look hard, and think long, to see the linkages and the related connections to try to extract greater insight from it.
When I look at it again this week I found something I’ve not paid much attention to before: “Our Father”. Matthew implies that one of the main points is our relationship as Christians to our heavenly Father. “Father” is mentioned eleven times in the chapter!
I believe Matthew is implying that our relationship to the Father is the most significant, most important, most remarkable, and most incredible relationship. Rightly so. We have been bought with a price, so that we can be called “children of God”.
Unless the relationship is dysfunctional because of sin, we can as children go freely to the Father for … well, everything.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones in the Studies in the Sermon on the Mount (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Publishers, 1971), says, “The great secret of life according to our Lord is to see ourselves and to conceive of ourselves always as children of our heavenly Father.”
Many things in this world however, vie for our attention and draw our focus away from the significance of this relationship.
In Matthew 6, Jesus brings up two big temptations we all face: first, seeking the praise of men; and, second, seeking treasures on this earth.
The root cause of this is of course, we seek to find security and satisfaction in temporary things instead of what we already have in our relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ. Both of these temptations want our attention, and both distract us from what truly matters – our relationship with God the Father.
What about us? What is Christ asking of us? He is asking us to do the same – we are not to serve two masters, but to serve Christ and Christ alone. In Matt 6:24, Jesus gave us the simple logic to maintain our focus: “No one can serve two masters”. It must be God and not something else.
Is your relationship with God important to you?
If it is, you’re to “count the cost” – because it is either Him or self.
Is it God or is it the world?
Rev. Robert Chew