Matthew 6:25-34 – A Lesson On Worrying


Matthew 6:25-34


Jesus counsels his disciples on how to order their lives, using examples from nature to indicate the providence of God.


Throughout the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus calls his disciples to rise above their earthly wants and to appreciate the care that God shows for them. Earlier in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus begins this process by teaching his disciples a prayer that names God as the source of their daily bread. He continues the lesson by pointing to images from nature. Paradoxically, Jesus lifts up nature as both superior and inferior to the disciples. 

The birds and the lilies show their superiority in that they are wholly reliant on God. Because of their reliance on God, the birds are free from the human toil of agriculture. Because of their reliance on God, the lilies are free of the folly of comparing their own riches to the riches of others. 

At the same time, Jesus makes clear that God cares more for the disciples than for the birds and the flowers. God feeds the birds, but Jesus will feed the disciples the eternal meal of his flesh and blood. The flowers are destined to wither and be burned, but the disciples are destined for eternal glory. 

This teaching on worrying culminates in the sending of the twelve disciples out to fight the unclean spirits and to cure disease and sickness. When they go out to preach the good news, they will not take human accouterments like bags or money. Instead, like the birds and the flowers they will rely solely on God for their daily bread.