1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

2 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.

3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

5 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.

6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

16 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.

17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;

18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

25 Therefore 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. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26 Behold the fowls 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 better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

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.

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Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Matthew
Book: Matthew
Chapter: 6

Against hypocrisy in Alms giving. (1-4) Against hypocrisy in
Prayer. (5-8) How to pray. (9-15) Respecting fasting. (16-18)
Evil of being worldly-minded. (19-24) Trust in God commended.

1-4 Our Lord next warned against hypocrisy and outward show in
religious duties. What we do, must be done from an inward
principle, that we may be approved of God, not that we may be
praised of men. In these verses we are cautioned against
hypocrisy in giving Alms. Take heed of it. It is a subtle Sin;
and vain-Glory creeps into what we do, before we are aware. But
the duty is not the less necessary and excellent for being
abused By hypocrites to serve their pride. The doom Christ
passes, at first may seem a promise, but it is their reward; not
the reward God promises to those who do good, but the reward
hypocrites promise themselves, and a Poor reward it is; they did
it to be seen of men, and they are seen of men. When we take
least notice of our good deeds ourselves, God takes most notice
of them. He will reward thee; not as a master who gives his
servant what he earns, and No more, but as a Father who gives
abundantly to his son that serves him.

5-8 It is taken for granted that all who are disciples of
Christ pray. You may as soon find a living Man that does not
breathe, as a living Christian that does not pray. If
prayerless, then graceless. The Scribes and Pharisees were
guilty of two great faults in Prayer, vain-Glory and vain
repetitions. "Verily they have their reward;" if in So great a
matter as is between us and God, when we are at Prayer, we can
look to So Poor a thing as the praise of men, it is just that it
should be all our reward. Yet there is not a secret, sudden
breathing after God, but he observes it. It is called a reward,
but it is of Grace, not of Debt; what merit can there be in
begging? If he does not give his people what they ask, it is
because he knows they do not need it, and that it is not for
their good. So far is God from being wrought upon By the length
or words of our prayers, that the most powerful intercessions
are those which are made with groanings that cannot be uttered.
Let us Well study what is shown of the frame of mind in which
our prayers should be offered, and learn daily from Christ how
to pray.

9-15 Christ saw it needful to show his disciples what must
commonly be the matter and method of their Prayer. Not that we
are tied up to the use of this only, or of this always; yet,
without doubt, it is very good to use it. It has much in a
little; and it is used acceptably No further than it is used
with understanding, and without being needlessly repeated. The
petitions are six; the first three relate more expressly to God
and his honour, the last three to our own concerns, both
temporal and spiritual. This Prayer teaches us to seek first the
Kingdom of God and his Righteousness, and that all other things
shall be added. After the things of God's Glory, kingdom, and
will, we pray for the needful supports and comforts of this
present Life. Every Word here has a lesson in it. We ask for
Bread; that teaches us sobriety and temperance: and we ask only
for Bread; not for what we do not need. We ask for our Bread;
that teaches us honesty and industry: we do not ask for the
Bread of others, nor the Bread of deceit, Pr 20:17; nor the
Bread of idleness, Pr 31:27, but the Bread honestly gotten. We
ask for our daily Bread; which teaches us constantly to depend
upon Divine Providence. We Beg of God to give it us; not sell it
us, nor lend it us, but give it. The greatest of men must be
beholden to the Mercy of God for their daily Bread. We pray,
Give it to us. This teaches us a compassion for the Poor. Also
that we ought to pray with our families. We pray that God would
give it us this Day; which teaches us to renew the desires of
our souls toward God, as the wants of our bodies are renewed. As
the Day comes we must pray to our heavenly Father, and reckon we
could as Well go a Day without Food, as without Prayer. We are
taught to hate and dread Sin while we Hope for Mercy, to
distrust ourselves, to rely On the Providence and Grace of God
to keep us from it, to be prepared to resist the tempter, and
not to become tempters of others. Here is a promise, If you
forgive, your heavenly Father will also forgive. We must
forgive, as we Hope to be forgiven. Those who desire to find
Mercy with God, must show Mercy to their brethren. Christ came
into the world as the great Peace-maker, not only to reconcile
us to God, but one to another.

16-18 Religious fasting is a duty required of the disciples of
Christ, but it is not So much a duty itself, as a means to
dispose us for other duties. Fasting is the humbling of the
soul, Ps 35:13; that is the inside of the duty; let that,
therefore, be thy principal care, and as to the outside of it,
covet not to let it be seen. God sees in secret, and will reward

19-24 Worldly-mindedness is a common and fatal symptom of
hypocrisy, for By No Sin can Satan have a surer and faster Hold
of the soul, under the Cloak of a profession of religion.
Something the soul will have, which it looks upon as the best
thing; in which it has pleasure and confidence above other
things. Christ counsels to make our best things the joys and
glories of the other world, those things not seen which are
eternal, and to place our happiness in them. There are treasures
in Heaven. It is our Wisdom to give all diligence to make our
title to eternal Life sure through Jesus Christ, and to look On
all things here below, as not worthy to be compared with it, and
to be content with nothing short of it. It is happiness above
and Beyond the changes and chances of time, an inheritance
incorruptible. The worldly Man is wrong in his first principle;
therefore all his reasonings and actions therefrom must be
wrong. It is equally to be applied to false religion; that which
is deemed Light is thick Darkness. This is an awful, but a
common case; we should therefore carefully examine our leading
principles By the Word of God, with Earnest Prayer for the
teaching of his Spirit. A Man may do some service to two
masters, but he can devote himself to the service of No more
than one. God requires the whole Heart, and will not share it
with the world. When two masters oppose each other, No Man can
serve both. He who holds to the world and loves it, must despise
God; he who loves God, must give up the friendship of the world.

25-34 There is scarcely any Sin against which our Lord Jesus
more warns his disciples, than disquieting, distracting,
distrustful cares about the things of this Life. This often
ensnares the Poor as much as the Love of wealth does the rich.
But there is a carefulness about temporal things which is a
duty, though we must not carry these lawful cares too far. Take
No thought for your Life. Not about the length of it; but refer
it to God to lengthen or shorten it as he pleases; our times are
in his Hand, and they are in a good Hand. Not about the comforts
of this Life; but leave it to God to make it Bitter or sweet as
he pleases. Food and raiment God has promised, therefore we may
expect them. Take No thought for the morrow, for the time to
come. Be not anxious for the future, how you shall live next
Year, or when you are old, or what you shall leave behind you.
As we must not boast of tomorrow, So we must not care for
to-morrow, or the events of it. God has given us Life, and has
given us the body. And what can he not do for us, who did that?
If we take care about our souls and for eternity, which are more
than the body and its Life, we may leave it to God to provide
for us Food and raiment, which are less. Improve this as an
encouragement to trust in God. We must reconcile ourselves to
our worldly estate, as we do to our stature. We cannot alter the
disposals of Providence, therefore we must submit and resign
ourselves to them. Thoughtfulness for our souls is the best cure
of thoughtfulness for the world. Seek first the Kingdom of God,
and make religion your business: say not that this is the way to
starve; No, it is the way to be Well provided for, even in this
world. The conclusion of the whole matter is, that it is the
will and command of the Lord Jesus, that By daily prayers we may
get strength to Bear us up under our daily troubles, and to Arm
us against the temptations that attend them, and then let none
of these things move us. Happy are those who take the Lord for
their God, and make full proof of it By trusting themselves
wholly to his Wise disposal. Let thy Spirit convince us of Sin
in the want of this disposition, and take away the worldliness
of our hearts.

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