MATTHEW CHAPTER 6

OBSERVATION STAGE

The purpose of the observation stage is to maintain focus on the text at hand within the normative rules of language, context and logic which limits the observer to the content offered by the book of Matthew. This will serve to avoid going on unnecessary tangents elsewhere; and more importantly, it will provide the framework for a proper and objective comparison with passages located elsewhere in Scripture.

Remember that something elsewhere may be true, but in the text at hand it may not be in view.

I) [Mt 6:1-2]:

(Mt 6:1 ASV) "Take heed that [you] do not your righteousness [Greek: "dikaiosunEn"] before men, to be seen of them: else [you] have no reward with your Father Who is in heaven.

(Mt 6:2 ASV) When therefore [you do your righteousness], sound not a trumpet before [yourself], as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. [Truly] I say unto you, They have received their reward."

A) JESUS CONTINUED A TRAIN OF THOUGHT HE HAD INTRODUCED IN MT 5:17-48 WHEREIN HE ADDRESSED THE ISSUE OF CLAIMS THAT HE HAD COME TO ABOLISH THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS. HE DISCUSSED THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF MEN RELATIVE TO THE REQUIRED CONDUCT IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN AND WHAT RIGHTEOUSNESS WAS REQUIRED OF AN INDIVIDUAL IN ORDER TO ATTAIN ENTRANCE INTO THE KINGDOM. ON THE OTHER HAND, MATTHEW 6:1-7:12 ADDRESSES HOW JESUS' DISCIPLES AND ALL BELIEVERS, WHOSE ETERNAL DESTINY IS SECURE IN HEAVEN, SHOULD CONDUCT THEMSELVES IN THEIR TEMPORAL LIVES UNTO REWARDS IN THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WHEN THEY GOT THERE

(Mt 5:17 NASB) "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Mt 5:18 NKJV) For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled. (Mt 5:19 HOLMAN) Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches people to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever practices and teaches [these commandments] will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Mt 5:20 NKJV) For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven... (Mt 6:1 ASV) Take heed that [you] do not your righteousness before men, to be seen of them: else [you] have no reward with your Father Who is in heaven. (Mt 6:2 ASV) When therefore [you do your righteousness], sound not a trumpet before [yourself], as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. [Truly] I say unto you, They have received their reward. (Mt 6:3 YLT) But [you], doing [alms], let not [your] left hand know what [your] right hand doth, (Mt 6:4 KJV) That [your] alms may be in secret: and [your] Father [seeing] in secret Himself shall reward [you] openly." =

In Mt 6:1-7:12 Jesus continued a train of thought He had introduced in Mt 5:17-48 wherein He addressed the issue of claims that He had come to abolish the Law and the Prophets. He emphatically rebutted these claims, stating that He came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets to the smallest detail. In Mt 5:17-48, He discussed the righteousness of men relative to the required conduct in the Kingdom of Heaven and what righteousness was required of an individual in order to attain entrance into that Kingdom. Matthew 6:1-7:12, on the other hand, has in view the righteousness of men with respect to how Jesus' disciples and all believers should conduct themselves in their temporal lives unto rewards in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, (as opposed to receiving the gift of eternal life in the Kingdom).

****** EXCERPTS FROM CHAPTER 5 ******

HAVING SEEN CROWDS OF PEOPLE FOLLOWING HIM, JESUS WENT UP TO A LOCATION IN ONE OF THE MOUNTAINS NEAR CAPERNAUM AROUND THE SEA OF GALILEE, EVIDENTLY TO GET AWAY FROM THEM. THERE ON THE MOUNTAINSIDE HE SAT DOWN AS WAS THE CUSTOM WHEN RABBIS TAUGHT OTHERS. WHEN HIS DISCIPLES CAME TO HIM, HE BEGAN TO INSTRUCT THEM

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him, (Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying: (Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:4 NKJV) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (Mt 5:5 NKJV) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. (Mt 5:6 NKJV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (Mt 5:7 NKJV) Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. (Mt 5:8 NKJV) Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. (Mt 5:9 NKJV) Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. (Mt 5:10 NAS) Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:11 ASV) Blessed are [you] when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. (Mt 5:12 NAS) Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.' " =

Having seen crowds of people following Him, Jesus went up to a location in one of the mountains near Capernaum around the Sea of Galilee, evidently to get away from people, except for His disciples. There on the mountainside, He sat down as was the custom when rabbis taught others. When His disciples came to Him, He began to instruct them. Jesus' Disciples were among the many who followed Him around. But more specifically, disciples are those individuals who have purposed to learn what He taught them in order to follow His teachings. Their number was not limited to the Twelve, nor were they necessarily all believers. On the other hand, the prerequisite of Jesus' teaching which He proclaimed on the mountain was an acceptance of His message proclaimed earlier by Jesus and John the Baptist and as summarized by "Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand," ..Note Jesus' first instruction, "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven," which implied residence in the Kingdom of Heaven in order to receive ownership / rulership of it through being characteristically poor in spirit," (Mt 5:3). The phrase rendered, "And having opened His mouth," was an emphatic way of indicating that Jesus was about to proclaim something to them of great importance. In this manner, then, Jesus began to teach His disciples. Note that the lessons proclaimed to the disciple / believers were also heard by all who gathered around Him as He taught.

THE WORD RENDERED "BLESSED" APPEARS THROUGHOUT THIS SECTION OF MATTHEW CHAPTER 5 CONVEYING THE SENSE OF BEING SINGULARLY BLESSED BY THE GRACE OF GOD, I.E., BY GOD'S UNMERITED FAVOR. THE NINE BLESSINGS ARE STIPULATED AS REWARDS WHICH ARE DECLARED WILL BE BESTOWED BY GOD UPON PARTICULAR BELIEVERS, HENCE NOT ALL BELIEVERS, BECAUSE THEY HAVE LED SINGULARLY FAITHFUL LIVES CHARACTERIZED IN THE MANNER STIPULATED THROUGHOUT THE PASSAGE. AUTHOR MATTHEW STIPULATED THAT JUST LIKE THE PROPHETS OF THE PAST THESE PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WILL RECEIVE REWARDS IN THE TEMPORAL AS WELL AS HEAVENLY LIFE COMMENSURATE WITH THEIR FAITHFULNESS. SO UNBELIEVERS AND LESS FAITHFUL BELIEVERS ARE NOT IN VIEW. FURTHERMORE, SALVATION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE CANNOT BE IN VIEW BECAUSE THAT IS A GIFT, NOT A REWARD

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him, (Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying: (Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:4 NKJV) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (Mt 5:5 NKJV) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. (Mt 5:6 NKJV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (Mt 5:7 NKJV) Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. (Mt 5:8 NKJV) Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. (Mt 5:9 NKJV) Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. (Mt 5:10 NAS) Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:11 ASV) Blessed are [you] when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. (Mt 5:12 NAS) Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.' " =

The word rendered "blessed" appears nine times throughout this section of Matthew chapter 5 conveying the sense of being singularly blessed by the grace of God, i.e., by God's unmerited favor. These nine blessings are bestowed as temporal and heavenly rewards commensurate with their faithfulness upon particular believers, hence not all believers - those in the same category as the prophets of the past, because they have led singularly faithful lives characterized in the manner stipulated throughout the passage, (cf. Mt 5:12). So unbelievers and less faithful believers are not in view. Furthermore, salvation unto eternal life cannot be in view because that is bestowed as a grace gift through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, ; and not as a reward for being faithful in the temporal life.

THE PHRASE RENDERED "BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT" HAS BELIEVERS EXCLUSIVELY IN VIEW; FOR ONLY BELIEVERS HAVE EXPRESSED REPENTANCE TO A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE UNTO ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WHICH IS EVIDENCED WHEN ONE EXPRESSES BEING POOR IN SPIRIT ACCORDING TO THE CONTEXT OF MATTHEW CHAPTERS 1-5. PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WHO HAVE LED SINGULARLY FAITHFUL LIVES, HENCE NOT ALL BELIEVERS, ARE CHARACTERIZED IN VERSE 3 AS BEING POOR IN SPIRIT, I.E., AS HAVING DEMONSTRATED THEIR TOTAL LACK OF CAPACITY TO BE RIGHTEOUS BEFORE GOD. SO A SPIRITUAL POVERTY, NOT A TEMPORAL ONE, IS IN VIEW IN CHAPTER 5. UNBELIEVERS ARE NOT IN VIEW BECAUSE BY DEFINITION THEY HAVE NEVER DEMONSTRATED SUCH A MOMENT OF BEING POOR IN SPIRIT BEFORE GOD WHICH IS IMPLIED WHEN ONE TRUSTS ALONE IN GOD'S SON ALONE FOR ETERNAL LIFE TO BECOME A BELIEVER. THE REWARD FOR THE PARTICULAR BELIEVERS BECAUSE OF THEIR FAITHFULNESS IS CONVEYED BY THE PHRASE RENDERED "THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN," A STATEMENT OF POSSESSION OF THE KINGDOM EVIDENTLY COMMENSURATE WITH THE QUALITY AND DURATION OF BEING POOR IN SPIRIT IN ONE'S TEMPORAL LIFE. POSSESSION OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IMPLIES THAT ONE HAS ALREADY GAINED ENTRANCE INTO IT IN ORDER TO RECEIVE OWNERSHIP OF IT, CORROBORATING THAT ONLY BELIEVERS ARE IN VIEW

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him, (Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying: (Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven." =

So Jesus began to teach "His disciples," saying, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven." The Greek word, "Makarioi" rendered "Blessed" in Mt 5:3 portrays an individual being singularly favored by the grace of God, i.e., by His unmerited favor relative to a future blessing / reward in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, of becoming possessors / co rulers of it. The phrase rendered "blessed are the poor in spirit" has believers exclusively in view; for only believers have expressed repentance to a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven which is evidenced when one expresses being poor in spirit according to the context of Matthew chapters 1-5. Particular believers who have led singularly faithful lives, hence not all believers, are characterized in verse 3 as being poor in spirit, i.e., as having demonstrated their total lack of capacity to be righteous before God, and instead have characteristically trusted solely in God by the grace of God to provide it in them and for them without any merit. So a spiritual poverty, not a temporal one, is in view in chapter 5. Unbelievers are not in view because by definition they have never demonstrated such a moment of being poor in spirit before God which is implied when one trusts alone in God's Son alone for eternal life to become a believer. The reward for the particular believers because of their faithfulness is conveyed by the phrase rendered "theirs is the kingdom of heaven," a statement of possession of the kingdom evidently commensurate with the quality and duration of being poor in spirit in one's temporal life. Possession of the Kingdom of Heaven implies that one has already gained entrance into it in order to receive ownership of it, corroborating that only believers are in view.

The context of Matthew 5:3 which includes chapters 1-4 implies that every individual is born poor in spirit in the sense that no one is able to demonstrate the Righteousness of God in one's life at any time and in any manner, spiritual or otherwise. So the context implies that man can only do evil. Hence every one needs God's Righteousness to be provided by God's Son through faith alone in Him alone. But most people deceive themselves into believing that they have something to offer God or their god(s); refusing to acknowledge before God that everything they do falls short of God's Righteousness. Even the human good that man does falls short of the Righteousness of God, hence it is evil coming from the flawed nature of man. Hence only a few individuals acknowledge their spiritual poverty before God; and even when they do and become believers, there is no guarantee that one will consistently demonstrate being poor in spirit, if they do it at all, in their temporal lives, (Mt 5:3).

THE PHRASE RENDERED "BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN" CONTINUES TO HAVE BELIEVERS EXCLUSIVELY IN VIEW. FOR ONLY BELIEVERS HAVE EXPRESSED REPENTANCE TO A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE UNTO ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WHICH IS EVIDENCED WHEN ONE DEMONSTRATES MOURNING ACCORDING TO THE CONTEXT OF MATTHEW CHAPTERS 1-5. PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WHO HAVE LED SINGULARLY FAITHFUL LIVES, HENCE NOT ALL BELIEVERS, ARE CHARACTERIZED IN VERSE 4 AS MOURNING IN THE SENSE THAT THEIR TEMPORAL LIVES ARE CHARACTERIZED AS EXPERIENCING GRIEF OVER THEIR TOTAL LACK OF CAPACITY TO BE RIGHTEOUS BEFORE GOD. THEY MOURN THEIR SPIRITUAL POVERTY. UNBELIEVERS ARE NOT IN VIEW BECAUSE BY DEFINITION THEY HAVE NEVER DEMONSTRATED A MOMENT OF SUCH MOURNING WHICH IS IMPLIED WHEN ONE TRUSTS ALONE IN GOD'S SON ALONE FOR ETERNAL LIFE TO BECOME A BELIEVER. THIS BEATITUDE COMPLEMENTS THE PREVIOUS BEATITUDE, FOR THOSE PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WHO MOURN ARE THOSE WHO ARE POOR IN SPIRIT. THE REWARD FOR BELIEVERS WHO CHARACTERISTICALLY MOURN IS TO BE COMFORTED BY GOD IN THEIR TEMPORAL LIVES COMMENSURATE WITH THE QUALITY AND DURATION OF THEIR MOURNING, NOT THE LEAST OF WHICH IS ASSURANCE OF ETERNAL LIFE IN THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him, (Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying: (Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:4 NKJV) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted." =

The phrase rendered "blessed are those who mourn" continues to have believers exclusively in view. For only believers have expressed repentance to a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven which is evidenced when one demonstrates mourning according to the context of Matthew chapters 1-5. The Greek word "penthountes" rendered "those who mourn" in the NKJV conveys the idea of feeling and / or expressing grief or sorrow for one's and the world's total lack of capacity to be righteous before God. So particular believers who have led singularly faithful lives, hence not all believers, are characterized in verse 4 as mourning in the sense that their temporal lives are characterized as experiencing grief over the world's and their total lack of capacity to be righteous before God. They mourn their spiritual poverty. Unbelievers are not in view because by definition they have never demonstrated a moment of such mourning which is implied when one trusts alone in God's Son alone for eternal life to become a believer. This beatitude complements the previous beatitude, for those particular believers who mourn are those who are poor in spirit. The reward for believers who characteristically mourn is to be comforted by God in their temporal lives commensurate with the quality and duration of their mourning, not the least of which is assurance of eternal life in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven when they will no longer be mourning their spiritual poverty.

Although all believers have the assurance by God of eternal life available to them to comfort them; during those times when believers' lives are not characterized as being poor in spirit - nor as mourning their lack of righteousness before God, they tend to look within themselves instead of God alone through His Son alone for assurance of their salvation, whereupon they often question their eternal security, blocking God's comfort in the matter.

THE PHRASE RENDERED "BLESSED ARE THE MEEK CONTINUES TO HAVE BELIEVERS EXCLUSIVELY IN VIEW; FOR ONLY BELIEVERS HAVE EXPRESSED REPENTANCE TO A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE UNTO ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WHICH IS EVIDENCED WHEN ONE EXPRESSES MEEKNESS ACCORDING TO THE CONTEXT OF MATTHEW CHAPTERS 1-5. PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WHO HAVE LED SINGULARLY FAITHFUL LIVES, HENCE NOT ALL BELIEVERS, ARE CHARACTERIZED IN VERSE 5 AS MEEK IN THEIR TEMPORAL LIVES IN THE SENSE OF BEING HUMBLE AND SUBMISSIVE TO GOD - ACKNOWLEDGING IN THEIR THOUGHTS, WORDS AND DEEDS THAT AT NO TIME CAN THEY BE RIGHTEOUS BEFORE GOD. UNBELIEVERS ARE NOT IN VIEW BECAUSE BY DEFINITION THEY HAVE NEVER DEMONSTRATED FOR A MOMENT SUCH MEEKNESS WHICH IS IMPLIED WHEN ONE TRUSTS ALONE IN GOD'S SON ALONE FOR ETERNAL LIFE TO BECOME A BELIEVER. THIS BEATITUDE COMPLEMENTS THE PREVIOUS BEATITUDES - FOR THOSE PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WHO ARE MEEK ARE THOSE WHO ARE POOR IN SPIRIT, WHO ARE THOSE WHO MOURN. THE REWARD FOR BELIEVERS BEING CHARACTERISTICALLY MEEK IS STIPULATED AS INHERITING THE EARTH IN THE SENSE OF RECEIVING IT AS AN INHERITED POSSESSION WHEN IT IS UNDER THE RULE OF THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF HEAVEN ON EARTH COMMENSURATE WITH THE QUALITY AND DURATION OF THE MEEKNESS. INHERITING THE EARTH IN THIS CONTEXT IMPLIES THAT ONE HAS ALREADY GAINED ENTRANCE INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IN ORDER TO RECEIVE IT AS AN INHERITANCE CORROBORATING THAT ONLY BELIEVERS ARE IN VIEW

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him, (Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying: (Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:4 NKJV) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (Mt 5:5 NKJV) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth." =

The phrase rendered "blessed are the meek continues to have believers exclusively in view; for only believers have expressed repentance to a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven which is evidenced when one expresses meekness according to the context of Matthew chapters 1-5. The word "praeis" rendered "meek" in the NKJV means being humble and submissive to God in the sense of acknowledging in one's thoughts, words and deeds that at no time in one's temporal life can one be righteous before God. Hence one is trusting in God's Righteousness and not one's own. Particular believers who have led singularly faithful lives, hence not all believers, are characterized in verse 5 as being meek in their temporal lives in that sense. Unbelievers are not in view because by definition they have never demonstrated for a moment such meekness which is implied when one trusts alone in God's Son alone for eternal life to become a believer. This beatitude complements the previous beatitudes - for those particular believers who are meek are those who are poor in spirit, who are those who mourn. The reward for believers being characteristically meek is stipulated as inheriting the earth in the sense of receiving it as an inherited possession when it is under the rule of the eternal Kingdom of Heaven on earth commensurate with the quality and duration of the meekness. Inheriting the earth in this context implies that one has already gained entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven in order to receive it as an inheritance corroborating that only believers are in view.

THE PHRASE RENDERED "BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS" CONTINUES TO HAVE BELIEVERS EXCLUSIVELY IN VIEW; FOR ONLY BELIEVERS HAVE EXPRESSED REPENTANCE TO A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE UNTO ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WHICH IS EVIDENCED WHEN ONE HUNGERS AND THIRSTS FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS ACCORDING TO THE CONTEXT OF MATTHEW CHAPTERS 1-5. PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WHO HAVE LED SINGULARLY FAITHFUL LIVES, HENCE NOT ALL BELIEVERS, ARE CHARACTERIZED IN VERSE 6 AS ONE WHO HUNGERS AND THIRSTS FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS IN THE SENSE OF EARNESTLY DESIRING FOR GOD TO EXPRESS HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS IN THEM, THROUGH THEM AND AROUND THEM IN THE WORLD, WHICH ONLY GOD CAN PROVIDE FOR THEM, IMPLYING A LACK OF IT IN THEMSELVES AND THE WORLD. UNBELIEVERS ARE NOT IN VIEW BECAUSE BY DEFINITION THEY HAVE NEVER DEMONSTRATED FOR A MOMENT SUCH HUNGER AND THIRST WHICH IS IMPLIED WHEN ONE TRUSTS ALONE IN GOD'S SON ALONE FOR ETERNAL LIFE TO BECOME A BELIEVER. THIS BEATITUDE COMPLEMENTS THE PREVIOUS BEATITUDES - FOR THOSE PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WHO HUNGER AND THIRST IN SUCH A MANNER FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS ARE THOSE WHO ARE POOR IN SPIRIT, ARE THOSE WHO MOURN, AND ARE THOSE WHO ARE MEEK. THE REWARD FOR BELIEVERS WHOSE TEMPORAL LIVES ARE CHARACTERIZED BY HUNGERING AND THIRSTING IN SUCH A MANNER FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS IS TO BE FILLED IN THE SENSE OF BEING CONTROLLED BY THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN THEIR TEMPORAL LIVES COMMENSURATE WITH THE QUALITY AND DURATION OF THAT HUNGERING AND THIRSTING. NOTE THAT ONLY BELIEVERS ARE IN VIEW HERE BECAUSE UNBELIEVERS BY DEFINITION DO NOT CHOOSE TO BE FILLED / CONTROLLED BY THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him, (Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying: (Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:4 NKJV) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (Mt 5:5 NKJV) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. (Mt 5:6 NKJV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled." =

The phrase rendered "blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness" continues to have believers exclusively in view; for only believers have expressed repentance to a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven and thereby have been credited with the Righteous of God and have gained the promise of entrance into the eternal Kingdom of Heaven . .This is evidenced when the believer hungers and thirsts for righteousness in his temporal life according to the context of Matthew chapters 1-5. Although all believers will receive and exclusively express the Righteousness of God in their experience when they begin experiencing eternal life in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, it has already been established that all individuals, which includes all believers, do not have within them the capacity to be Righteous as God is Righteous in their temporal lives, (Mt 5:3-4). On the other hand, particular believers who have led singularly faithful lives, hence not all believers, are characterized in verse 6 as one's who hunger and thirst for righteousness in the sense of earnestly desiring for God to express His Righteousness in them, through them and around them in the world. Only God can provide this for them; implying a lack of it in themselves and the world. For one hungers and thirsts for what one does not have. Unbelievers are not in view because by definition they have never demonstrated for a moment such a hunger and thirst which is implied when one trusts alone in God's Son alone for eternal life to become a believer. For unbelievers inevitably justify their unrighteousness in some manner, despite their untenable position before God. This beatitude complements the previous beatitudes - for those particular believers who hunger and thirst in such a manner for righteousness are those who are poor in spirit, are those who mourn, and are those who are meek. The reward for believers whose temporal lives are characterized by hungering and thirsting in such a manner for righteousness is to be filled in the sense of being controlled by the Righteousness of God in their temporal lives commensurate with the quality and duration of that hungering and thirsting.

Just as one can be filled with joy in the sense of being controlled by feelings of joy as demonstrated in one's behavior; and just as one can be filled with the Spirit of God in the sense of one's behavior being under the righteous control of God; so one can be filled with the Righteousness of God in the sense of one's behavior being under the righteous control of God, Who motivates one to follow His leading to be righteous. Note that only believers are in view here because unbelievers by definition do not choose and cannot be filled / controlled by the Righteousness of God.

THE PHRASE RENDERED "BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL, FOR THEY SHALL OBTAIN MERCY" IN MT 5:7 CONTINUES TO HAVE BELIEVERS EXCLUSIVELY IN VIEW; FOR ONLY BELIEVERS HAVE EXPRESSED REPENTANCE TO A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE UNTO ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN BY THE MERCY OF GOD, WHICH IS EVIDENCED WHEN ONE EXPRESSES GODLY MERCY ACCORDING TO THE CONTEXT OF MATTHEW CHAPTERS 1-5. ALTHOUGH ALL BELIEVERS HAVE RECEIVED THE MERCY OF GOD WHEN THEY BELIEVED AND RECEIVED ETERNAL LIFE; ONLY PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WHO HAVE LED SINGULARLY FAITHFUL LIVES, HENCE NOT ALL BELIEVERS, ARE CHARACTERIZED IN VERSE 7 AS MERCIFUL IN THE SENSE OF DEMONSTRATING A GODLY, AGAPE-SELF SACRIFICIAL LOVE IN BEING GRACIOUS, KIND, COMPASSIONATE AND FORGIVING TOWARD ALL OTHERS. UNBELIEVERS ARE NOT IN VIEW BECAUSE BY DEFINITION THEY HAVE NEVER DEMONSTRATED FOR A MOMENT SUCH MERCY THE CAPACITY OF WHICH IS IMPLIED WHEN ONE HAS TRUSTED ALONE IN GOD'S SON ALONE FOR ETERNAL LIFE TO BECOME A BELIEVER. THIS BEATITUDE COMPLEMENTS THE PREVIOUS BEATITUDES - FOR THOSE BELIEVERS WHO ARE MERCIFUL ARE THOSE WHO ARE POOR IN SPIRIT, ARE THOSE WHO MOURN, ARE THOSE WHO ARE MEEK, ARE THOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS. THE REWARD FOR BELIEVERS BEING CHARACTERISTICALLY MERCIFUL IS TO OBTAIN MERCY FROM GOD COMMENSURATE WITH THE QUALITY AND DURATION OF THEIR BEING MERCIFUL TO OTHERS. NOTE THAT ONLY BELIEVERS ARE IN VIEW HERE BECAUSE UNBELIEVERS DO NOT AND CANNOT CHOOSE TO BE MERCIFUL IN A GODLY MANNER

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him, (Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying: (Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:4 NKJV) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (Mt 5:5 NKJV) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. (Mt 5:6 NKJV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (Mt 5:7 NKJV) Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy." =

The phrase rendered "blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy" in Mt 5:7 continues to have believers exclusively in view; for only believers have expressed repentance to a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven by the mercy of God. ., which is evidenced when one expresses godly mercy according to the context of Matthew chapters 1-5. Note that being merciful in a godly manner is unnatural for man. Only particular believers who have led singularly faithful lives, hence not all believers, are characterized in verse 7 as merciful in the sense of demonstrating a godly, agape-self sacrificial love in being gracious, kind, compassionate and forgiving toward all others. So godly mercy recognizes one's spiritual poverty, mourns that poverty, hungers and thirsts for godly righteousness within oneself, knowing that God has been merciful to one, hence believers are in view. Despite one's unworthiness the believer who expresses godly mercy is motivated to be merciful to others despite their unworthiness. Unbelievers are not in view because by definition they have never demonstrated for a moment such godly mercy the capacity of which is implied when one has trusted alone in God's Son alone for eternal life to become a believer. This beatitude complements the previous beatitudes - for those believers who are merciful are those who are poor in spirit, are those who mourn, are those who are meek, are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. The reward for believers being characteristically merciful is to obtain mercy from God commensurate with the quality and duration of their being merciful to others. Bote that only believers are in view here because unbelievers do not and cannot choose to be merciful in a godly manner.

THE PHRASE RENDERED "BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART " IN MT 5:8 CONTINUES TO HAVE BELIEVERS EXCLUSIVELY IN VIEW; FOR ONLY BELIEVERS HAVE EXPRESSED REPENTANCE TO A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE UNTO ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WHICH IS EVIDENCED WHEN ONE EXPRESSES A MOMENT OF BEING PURE IN HEART ACCORDING TO THE CONTEXT OF MATTHEW CHAPTERS 1-5. PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WHO HAVE LED SINGULARLY FAITHFUL LIVES, HENCE NOT ALL BELIEVERS, ARE CHARACTERIZED IN VERSE 8 AS PURE IN HEART IN THE SENSE OF HAVING A GODLY POINT OF VIEW IN ALL THINGS. UNBELIEVERS ARE NOT IN VIEW BECAUSE BY DEFINITION THEY HAVE NEVER DEMONSTRATED FOR A MOMENT SUCH PURITY IF HEART THE CAPACITY OF WHICH IS IMPLIED WHEN ONE HAS TRUSTED ALONE IN GOD'S SON ALONE FOR ETERNAL LIFE TO BECOME A BELIEVER. THIS BEATITUDE COMPLEMENTS THE PREVIOUS BEATITUDES, FOR THOSE BELIEVERS WHO ARE PURE IN HEART, ARE THOSE WHO ARE POOR IN SPIRIT, ARE THOSE WHO MOURN, ARE THOSE WHO ARE MEEK, ARE THOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, ARE THOSE WHO ARE MERCIFUL. THE REWARD FOR BELIEVERS BEING CHARACTERISTICALLY PURE IN HEART IS THAT THEY SHALL SEE GOD COMMENSURATE WITH THE QUALITY AND DURATION OF BEING PURE IN HEART. THE REWARD OF SEEING GOD FOR BEING CHARACTERISTICALLY PURE IN HEART IMPLIES BEING REWARDED WITH SEEING GOD IN THE SENSE OF AN INTIMATE FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD TO BE EXPERIENCED IN THE TEMPORAL LIFE AS WELL AS A GREATER INTIMACY WITH HIM IN THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. NOTE THAT ALL BELIEVERS WILL SEE GOD IN THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WHEN THEY BEGIN EXPERIENCING ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD, BUT SOME MORE INTIMATELY THAN OTHERS DEPENDING UPON THEIR FAITHFULNESS IN THEIR TEMPORAL LIVES

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him, (Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying: (Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:4 NKJV) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (Mt 5:5 NKJV) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. (Mt 5:6 NKJV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (Mt 5:7 NKJV) Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. (Mt 5:8 NKJV) Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God." =

The phrase rendered "blessed are the pure in heart " in Mt 5:8 continues to have believers exclusively in view; for only believers have expressed repentance to a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven which is evidenced when one expresses a moment of being pure in heart according to the context of Matthew chapters 1-5. The word rendered "heart" is defined in the context of Matthew chapter 3 as man's entire mental and moral activity, both the rational and the emotional elements,.. Particular believers who have led singularly faithful lives, hence not all believers, are characterized in verse 8 as pure in heart in the sense of having a Righteous, godly point of view in all things. Since Matthew chapters 3-5 have already determined that no one is pure in heart before God - that one must receive his righteousness solely from God; that it takes being poor in spirit, mourning of one's lack of righteousness, being meek in the sense of humility and submissiveness to the Lord out of one's lack of righteousness, hungering and thirsting for the righteousness that one lacks, in order to receive rewards in the Kingdom of Heaven; then being pure in heart in the context of Mt 5:8 must be via the grace of God - His unmerited favor and not anything attributable to the efforts of man. Unbelievers are not in view because by definition they have never demonstrated for a moment such purity of heart, the capacity of which is implied when one has trusted alone in God's Son alone for eternal life to become a believer. This beatitude complements the previous beatitudes, for those believers who are pure in heart, are those who are poor in spirit, are those who mourn, are those who are meek, are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, are those who are merciful. The reward for believers being characteristically pure in heart is that they shall see God commensurate with the quality and duration of being pure in heart. Although it is true that all believers will see God when they begin experiencing eternal life in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, the phrase rendered, "For they shall shall see God," in Mt 5:8 refers to another kind of seeing. The verb "opsontai" in Mt 5:8 conveys that they shall gaze with eyes wide open, i.e., with an intensity and discernment toward and in close, intimate presence with God, implying an eternal, intimate relationship with Him. Other Greek verbs, such as "blepo," which mean "to see," were not used because they denote simple voluntary observation without the intensity and close personal action of "opsontai." The reward of seeing God for being characteristically pure in heart implies being rewarded with seeing God in the sense of an intimate fellowship with God to be experienced in the temporal life as well as a greater intimacy with Him when they experience eternal life in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. Note that all believers will see God in the eternal kingdom of heaven when they enter it, some more intimate than others depending upon their faithfulness in their temporal lives.

So since the phrase rendered, "For they shall see God" refers to receiving the eternal reward of seeing God in the sense of an intimate fellowship with Him, and since the phrase rendered, "being pure in heart" is stipulated as the reason for receiving that eternal reward, then being pure in heart cannot be a relative thing - it must be absolute. For one must ask, "To what extent must a man be pure in heart in order to see God in the sense of having eternal life with Him? The answer demands that one must be absolutely pure in heart, i.e., absolutely righteous / sinlessly perfect because receiving an eternal reward from God demands that the individual have an absolute purity / an absolute Righteousness as God is pure and Righteous, i.e., sinless perfection - a state that is unattainable by man in his mortal life / temporal life. One cannot have a heart that is relatively pure compared to other men and expect to "see ["opsontai"] God," in an intimate fellowship with Him in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. Hence it must be that one is attributed with Christ's absolutely perfect Righteousness unto eternal life by God's grace gift through the individual's moment of faith alone in Jesus' message of "Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand," that a believer in his mortal state through grace can also be attributed with being "pure in heart' in his temporal life so that he can "see" ["opsontai"] God in an intimate fellowship with Him in temporal and eternal states.

THE PHRASE RENDERED "BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS " IN MT 5:9 CONTINUES TO HAVE BELIEVERS EXCLUSIVELY IN VIEW; FOR ONLY BELIEVERS HAVE EXPRESSED REPENTANCE TO A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE UNTO ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WHICH IS EVIDENCED WHEN ONE EXPRESSES A MOMENT OF BEING A PEACEMAKER ACCORDING TO THE CONTEXT OF MATTHEW CHAPTERS 1-5. PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WHO HAVE LED SINGULARLY FAITHFUL LIVES, HENCE NOT ALL BELIEVERS, ARE CHARACTERIZED IN VERSE 9 AS PEACEMAKERS IN THE SENSE OF REPRESENTING THE PLAN OF PEACE BETWEEN GOD AND MAN THROUGH A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN HIS SON JESUS CHRIST ALONE TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM OF ENMITY / SIN BETWEEN GOD AND MAN ONE INDIVIDUAL AT A TIME. UNBELIEVERS ARE NOT IN VIEW BECAUSE BY DEFINITION THEY HAVE NEVER DEMONSTRATED SUCH A MOMENT OF BEING A PEACEMAKER, THE CAPACITY OF WHICH IS IMPLIED WHEN ONE HAS TRUSTED ALONE IN GOD'S SON ALONE FOR ETERNAL LIFE TO BECOME A BELIEVER. THIS BEATITUDE COMPLEMENTS THE PREVIOUS BEATITUDES, FOR THOSE BELIEVERS WHO ARE PEACEMAKERS, ARE THOSE WHO ARE POOR IN SPIRIT, ARE THOSE WHO MOURN, ARE THOSE WHO ARE MEEK, ARE THOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, ARE THOSE WHO ARE MERCIFUL, ARE THOSE WHO ARE PURE IN HEART. THE REWARD FOR BELIEVERS CHARACTERISTICALLY BEING PEACEMAKERS IS THAT THEY SHALL BE CALLED SONS OF GOD COMMENSURATE WITH THE QUALITY AND DURATION OF BEING PEACEMAKERS. THE REWARD OF BEING CALLED SONS OF GOD FOR CHARACTERISTICALLY BEING PEACEMAKERS IMPLIES A DECLARATION BY GOD OF THEIR SPIRITUAL MATURITY AND ALL THE TEMPORAL AND ETERNAL REWARDS THAT ARE COMMENSURATE WITH SUCH MATURITY

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him, (Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying: (Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:4 NKJV) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (Mt 5:5 NKJV) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. (Mt 5:6 NKJV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (Mt 5:7 NKJV) Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. (Mt 5:8 NKJV) Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. (Mt 5:9 NKJV) Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God." =

The phrase rendered "blessed are the peacemakers " in Mt 5:9 continues to have believers exclusively in view; for only believers have expressed repentance to a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven which is evidenced when one expresses a moment of being a peacemaker according to the context of Matthew chapters 1-5. Throughout history, men have been striving for relative peace on this earth with human viewpoint reasoning instead of using God's Word to guide them. They have resorted to deception, intrigue, cease fire, evil compromise, military conquest, violent enforcement of despotic rule, etc. But the true solution for peace on earth begins by resolving the problem of enmity between God and man through a moment of faith alone in God's Son alone - one individual at a time - to receive the ultimate promise of peace: residence in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven on the earth under the sovereign rule of Jesus Christ, when man can live in everlasting peace with God and fellow man. Particular believers who have led singularly faithful lives, hence not all believers, are characterized in verse 9 as peacemakers in the sense of representing the aforementioned plan of peace between God and man. Unbelievers are not in view because by definition they have never demonstrated such a moment of being a peacemaker, the capacity of which is implied when one has trusted alone in God's Son alone for eternal life to become a believer. This beatitude complements the previous beatitudes, for those believers who are peacemakers, are those who are poor in spirit, are those who mourn, are those who are meek, are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, are those who are merciful, are those who are pure in heart. The reward for believers characteristically being peacemakers is that they shall be called sons of God commensurate with the quality and duration of being peacemakers. The reward of being called sons of God for characteristically being peacemakers implies a declaration by God of their spiritual maturity and all the temporal and eternal rewards that are commensurate with such maturity. Since all individuals who become believers are destined for residence in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, then all believers are children of God. But a son of God can signify a mature child of God as it does in this passage, those children of God who are peacemakers. Since Mt 5:9 has in view only those who are called sons of God, i.e., mature children of God, this corroborates that only believers are in view.

THE PHRASE RENDERED "BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN PERSECUTED FOR THE SAKE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS" IN MT 5:10 CONTINUES TO HAVE BELIEVERS EXCLUSIVELY IN VIEW; FOR ONLY BELIEVERS HAVE EXPRESSED REPENTANCE TO A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE UNTO ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WHICH IS EVIDENCED WHEN ONE EXPRESSES A MOMENT OF BEING PERSECUTED FOR THE SAKE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS ACCORDING TO THE CONTEXT OF MATTHEW CHAPTERS 1-5. PARTICULAR BELIEVERS WHO HAVE LED SINGULARLY FAITHFUL LIVES, HENCE NOT ALL BELIEVERS, ARE CHARACTERIZED IN VERSE 10 AS THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN PERSECUTED FOR THE SAKE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS BECAUSE THEY WERE REPRESENTING IN THEIR TEMPORAL LIVES THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIS PLAN OF PEACE BETWEEN GOD AND MAN THROUGH A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN HIS SON JESUS CHRIST ALONE TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM OF ENMITY / SIN BETWEEN GOD AND MAN ONE INDIVIDUAL AT A TIME. UNBELIEVERS ARE NOT IN VIEW BECAUSE BY DEFINITION THEY HAVE NEVER DEMONSTRATED SUCH A MOMENT OF BEING PERSECUTED FOR THE SAKE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, THE CAPACITY OF WHICH IS IMPLIED WHEN ONE HAS TRUSTED ALONE IN GOD'S SON ALONE FOR ETERNAL LIFE TO BECOME A BELIEVER. THIS BEATITUDE COMPLEMENTS THE PREVIOUS BEATITUDES, FOR THOSE BELIEVERS WHO ARE PERSECUTED FOR THE SAKE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, ARE THOSE WHO ARE POOR IN SPIRIT, WHO MOURN, WHO ARE MEEK, WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, WHO ARE MERCIFUL, WHO ARE PURE IN HEART, WHO ARE PEACEMAKERS. THE REWARD FOR BELIEVERS CHARACTERISTICALLY BEING PERSECUTED FOR THE SAKE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS STIPULATED AS THE SAME AS THAT WHICH IS REWARDED FOR BEING POOR IN SPIRIT, I.E., POSSESSION OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, COMMENSURATE WITH THE QUALITY AND DURATION OF THEIR BEING PERSECUTED FOR THE SAKE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. THE REWARD OF POSSESSION OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IMPLIES THAT ONE HAS ALREADY GAINED ENTRANCE INTO IT IN ORDER TO RECEIVE OWNERSHIP OF IT, CORROBORATING THAT ONLY BELIEVERS ARE IN VIEW

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him, (Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying: (Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:4 NKJV) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (Mt 5:5 NKJV) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. (Mt 5:6 NKJV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (Mt 5:7 NKJV) Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. (Mt 5:8 NKJV) Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. (Mt 5:9 NKJV) Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. (Mt 5:10 NAS) Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." =

The phrase rendered "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness" in Mt 5:10 continues to have believers exclusively in view; for only believers have expressed repentance to a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven which is evidenced when one expresses a moment of being persecuted for the sake of righteousness according to the context of Matthew chapters 1-5. Particular believers who have led singularly faithful lives, hence not all believers, are characterized in verse 10 as those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness - persecuted not because they were righteous themselves but because they were representing in their temporal lives the righteousness of God in His plan of peace between God and man through a moment of faith alone in His Son Jesus Christ alone to resolve the problem of enmity / sin between God and man one individual at a time. Unbelievers are not in view because by definition they have never demonstrated such a moment of being persecuted for the sake of righteousness, the capacity of which is implied when one has trusted alone in God's Son alone for eternal life to become a believer. This beatitude complements the previous beatitudes, for those believers who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, are not those who are righteous, (for there are none) but those who are poor in spirit, who mourn, who are meek, who hunger and thirst for righteousness, who are merciful, who are pure in heart, who are peacemakers. The reward for believers characteristically being persecuted for the sake of righteousness is stipulated as the same as that which is rewarded to those who are poor in spirit, i.e., possession of the Kingdom of Heaven, commensurate with the quality and duration of their being persecuted for the sake of righteousness. The reward of possession of the Kingdom of Heaven implies that one has already gained entrance into it in order to receive ownership of it, corroborating that only believers are in view.

JESUS WAS AFFIRMING THAT THE KIND OF INDIVIDUALS IN VIEW IN VERSES 3-10 WERE THE KIND THAT HIS DISCIPLES WOULD BECOME IN A PROPHETIC STATEMENT RENDERED, "BLESSED ARE YOU WHEN MEN PERSECUTE YOU, AND SAY ALL MANNER OF EVIL AGAINST YOU FALSELY, FOR MY SAKE. REJOICE AND BE GLAD, FOR YOUR REWARD IN HEAVEN IS GREAT; FOR IN THE SAME WAY THEY PERSECUTED THE PROPHETS WHO WERE BEFORE YOU." SO JUST AS THE KIND OF INDIVIDUALS IN VERSES 3-10 WILL SUFFER PERSECUTION FOR THE SAKE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS - FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST - BECAUSE THEY WERE CHARACTERISTICALLY PRESENTING AND REPRESENTING IN THEIR TEMPORAL LIVES THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIS PLAN OF PEACE BETWEEN GOD AND MAN THROUGH A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN HIS SON JESUS CHRIST ALONE TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM OF ENMITY / SIN BETWEEN GOD AND MAN ONE INDIVIDUAL AT A TIME; SO FOR THE SAME REASONS MEN WILL REPROACH AND PERSECUTE JESUS' DISCIPLES AND SAY ALL MANNER OF EVIL AGAINST THEM FALSELY - FOR HIS SAKE AND FOR THE SAKE OF HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. ALL THOSE IN VIEW IN MT 5:1-12 SHOULD REJOICE, FOR THEIR REWARD IN HEAVEN IS GREAT; FOR IN THE SAME WAY THEY PERSECUTED THE PROPHETS WHO WERE BEFORE THEM - THEY TOO WILL RECEIVE GREAT ETERNAL REWARDS

(Mt 5:1 YLT) "And having seen the [crowds], He [Jesus Christ, (v. 4:23)] went up to the mount, and He having sat down, His disciples came to Him, (Mt 5:2 YLT) and having opened His mouth, He was teaching them, saying: (Mt 5:3 NKJV) 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:4 NKJV) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (Mt 5:5 NKJV) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. (Mt 5:6 NKJV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (Mt 5:7 NKJV) Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. (Mt 5:8 NKJV) Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. (Mt 5:9 NKJV) Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. (Mt 5:10 NAS) Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:11 ASV) Blessed are [you] when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. (Mt 5:12 NAS) Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.' " =

Verses 3-10 are in the nominative case, i.e., plural nouns, describing the particular kind of individuals throughout history who characteristically are poor in spirit, mourn their lack of righteousness, demonstrate meekness toward God and His Righteousness, hunger and thirst for the Righteousness of God, are merciful, are pure in heart, are peacemakers, are persecuted for the sake of the Righteousness of God. Verses 11 and 12 are in the second person plural rendered, "you." They refer to those whom Jesus was teaching / addressing - those who were just beginning to learn to be His disciples. Hence Jesus was affirming that the kind of individuals in view in verses 3-10 were the kind that His disciples would become in a prophetic statement rendered, "Blessed are you when men persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." So just as the kind of individuals in verses 3-10 will suffer persecution for the sake of Righteousness - for the sake of Christ - because they were characteristically presenting and representing in their temporal lives the righteousness of God in His plan of peace between God and man through a moment of faith alone in His Son Jesus Christ alone to resolve the problem of enmity / sin between God and man one individual at a time; so for the same reasons men will reproach and persecute Jesus' disciples and say all manner of evil against them falsely - for His sake and for the sake of His Righteousness. All those in view in Mt 5:1-12 should rejoice, for their reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before them - they too will receive great eternal rewards.

Note that the reproach, persecution, and false accusation of evil that the disciples and faithful believers in general receive are on account of Christ and His Righteousness. So Jesus Christ in essence is the One Whom people are rejecting, and the One upon Whom they focus their hatred.

JESUS INDICATED THAT SOME MAINTAINED THROUGH A TWISTED VIEWPOINT OF SCRIPTURE THAT HE CAME TO ABOLISH THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS. HE REBUTTED EMPHATICALLY THAT BEFORE HEAVEN AND EARTH PASSED AWAY, (PROPHESYING A FUTURE NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH OVER WHICH HE WILL RULE FOREVER), HE WOULD FULFILL SCRIPTURE TO THE SMALLEST DETAIL. THIS WAS ESPECIALLY RELATIVE TO THE ATTAINMENT OF ETERNAL LIFE, WHICH WOULD BE FULFILLED NOT THROUGH THE EFFORTS OF INDIVIDUAL MEN BY KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS FOR THEY HAD - ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE - NO SUCH CAPACITY. THE PROPHETS FORETOLD OF A MESSIAH / SAVIOR WHO WILL PROVIDE GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS TO MEN THROUGH A MOMENT OF REPENTANCE / FAITH ALONE IN HIS SACRIFICE FOR SINS. THIS WAS JESUS' MESSAGE WHEN HE PROCLAIMED THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND PREACHED "REPENT FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND." JESUS FURTHER EXPLAINED THAT WHOEVER OF THOSE WHO WILL BE RESIDENTS IN THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WHO BREAK ONE OF THE LEAST OF THE COMMANDMENTS AND TEACH PEOPLE TO DO SO WILL BE CALLED THE LEAST IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. ON THE OTHER HAND, WHOEVER IN THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WHO PRACTICES AND TEACHES THE COMMANDMENTS WILL BE CALLED GREAT IN THE KINGDOM. SO EVERY DETAIL OF EVERY COMMAND, OF EVERY UNGODLY THROUGHT, WORD AND DEED, NO MATTER HOW SMALL WILL BE REGULATED. CHAPTERS SIX AND SEVEN OF MATTHEW WILL DEAL WITH THE FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS IN THE TEMPORAL LIFE OF DISCIPLES AND ALL MEN

(Mt 5:17 NASB) "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Mt 5:18 NKJV) For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled. (Mt 5:19 HOLMAN) Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches people to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever practices and teaches [these commandments] will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Mt 5:20 NKJV) For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven." =

The phrase rendered "the Law or the Prophets" in Jesus' statement, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets;" refers to the Scriptures - the Old Testament of Jesus' time. In view of His coming to fulfill His mission, Jesus indicated that some maintained through a twisted viewpoint of Scripture, that He had come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. He rebutted emphatically that He did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets but to fulfill them even to the smallest Hebrew letter, the "jot" (lit., yod), and even to the smallest stroke of a Hebrew letter, the "tittle," before Heaven and earth passed away, (prophesying a future new Heavens and a new earth); in the sense that

(1) He would establish the Law as the standard by which He would rule the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, implying that He indeed was the Messiah Savior God Almighty Everlasting Father, (Mt 5:17-19; Isa 9:6-7 );

(2) He would fulfill the Law and the Prophets in the sense that since the Law was the standard by which one must attain eternal life in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, (cf. Mt 5:20); and since this was impossible with man, (cf. Mt 5:48); then Jesus had repeatedly stipulated, eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven would be through a moment of faith alone in Him - His atoning sacrifice alone. The Prophets foretold that it required a Messiah / Savior to provide God's Righteousness for mankind through a moment of repentance / faith alone in His Son's atoning sacrifice for sins alone. This was Jesus' message when He proclaimed the gospel of the Kingdom of God, (Mt 4:23), and preached "Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,", (cf. Mt 4:17);

(3) He would fulfill the Law in the sense that it was the standard by which all men should live their temporal lives, especially His disciples, (Mt 6:1-7:12).

Notice that Jesus stipulated that heaven and earth would pass away, evidently making way for a new heavens and a new earth through His fulfillment. The eternal Kingdom of Heaven rule on earth would evidently be characterized by residents largely but not perfectly keeping the commandments under the rule of Jesus Christ, , especially those who, previous to the Kingdom Age, received the gift of the Righteousness of Christ when they expressed a moment of faith alone in Christ alone for eternal life and physically died. For God's Perfect Righteousness would then would become part of their experiential life when they entered the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, evidently transformed so that they had that capacity.

Notice that God's Perfect Righteousness is the standard by which all men will be judged for entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven and for daily life in it - a righteousness that exceeded that of the scribes and the Pharisees. This is corroborated at the end of chapter 5:

[Compare Mt 5:48]:

(Mt 5:48 NKJV) "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."

This last verse of this section makes it clear that the proper behavior for an individual who endeavors to keep commandments in order to qualify for eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven was to be as perfect as God is perfect, (Mt 5:48). There would be some who would falsely contend that the Greek word "teleioi" rendered "perfect" in the NKJV in this verse means 'mature' and not perfect in order to avoid conveying the idea that man must be sinlessly perfect as God is perfect in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, which is the case in this passage. If "mature" were correct, and it is not, it is not within the capacity of finite man to be as perfect or as mature as the infinite Almighty God is. For man to be as perfect or mature as God is mature implies a divine quality which is not possible with man to attain during his mortal life, much less sustain it throughout that life without failure, which is what the phrase "You shall be perfect [mature?], just as your Father in heaven is perfect [mature?]" would convey.

The scribes and Pharisees were in Jesus' time arbiters and followers of the Law in the strictest sense of those of their time. Yet Jesus said, "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven," (Mt 5:20 NKJV). By this He implied that the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees fell short of God's standard of Righteousness as represented by the commandments of the Law. Hence their righteousness was not sufficient to attain eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. For one had to be as Righteous as God is Righteous, (cf. Mt 5:48).

So the scribes and Pharisees were teaching and endeavoring to keep commandments in such a manner that fell short of the Righteousness of God. They often portrayed a point of view of a commandment from Scripture that compromised its meaning in order to make it attainable by man without being "As perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect." Finally, Scripture indicates that the scribes and Pharisees constantly failed to follow their own rules, (cf. Mt 5:21-48).

Since it is evident that God's Perfect Righteousness is not attainable by mortal man through what he does, it must be concluded, and has already been declared in Scripture, that such Righteousness can only be attained by receiving it as a free gift from God through a moment of faith alone in the perfect fulfillment for him of Jesus Christ alone, . In view of this, Jesus declared that whoever of those who will be residents in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven who break one of the least of the commandments and teach people to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. On the other hand, whoever in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven who practices and teaches the commandments will be called great in the Kingdom. So every detail of every command, of every ungodly throught, word and deed, no matter how small will be regulated. Nevertheless, there will be failure by those individuals who are still in mortal bodies to keep the commandments - the standard of Righteous rule in the Kingdom which results in loss of status and evidently other punishments, (Mt 5:17-20).

****** END OF EXCERPTS FROM CHAPTER 5 ******

B) JESUS BEGAN TO INSTRUCT HIS DISCIPLES ON HOW TO CONDUCT THEIR TEMPORAL LIVES RELATIVE TO THE RECEPTION OF ETERNAL REWARDS FROM THEIR FATHER IN HEAVEN, WHICH WAS CONTRASTED WITH THE CONDUCT OF HYPOCRITES SUCH AS THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES. JESUS TOLD HIS DISCIPLES TO "TAKE HEED" IN THE SENSE OF PAYING CAREFUL ATTENTION TO HOW THEY ACTED BEFORE GOD AND MEN. FOR IF THEY FELL SHORT OF THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD SUCH AS PERFORMING ACTS OSTENTATIOUSLY TO ELICIT THE APPROVAL OF MEN, THEN THEY WOULD HAVE NO REWARD WITH THEIR FATHER WHO WAS IN HEAVEN

(Mt 5:17 NASB) "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Mt 5:18 NKJV) For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled. (Mt 5:19 HOLMAN) Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches people to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever practices and teaches [these commandments] will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Mt 5:20 NKJV) For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven... (Mt 6:1 ASV) Take heed that [you] do not your righteousness before men, to be seen of them: else [you] have no reward with your Father Who is in heaven. (Mt 6:2 ASV) When therefore [you do your righteousness], sound not a trumpet before [yourself], as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. [Truly] I say unto you, They have received their reward. (Mt 6:3 YLT) But [you], doing [alms], let not [your] left hand know what [your] right hand doth, (Mt 6:4 KJV) That [your] alms may be in secret: and [your] Father [seeing] in secret Himself shall reward [you] openly."=

So Jesus began, as recorded by author Matthew in chapter 6, to instruct His disciples, (and for that matter all believers), on how to conduct their temporal lives relative to the reception of eternal rewards from their Father in Heaven which was contrasted with the conduct of hypocrites such as the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus told His disciples to "take heed" in the sense of paying careful attention to how they acted, i.e., paying careful attention to every thought, word and deed relative to their acts of righteousness before God and men. For if their acts of righteousness fell short of the righteousness of God, such as acts performed ostentatiously to elicit the approval of men, then they would have no reward with their Father Who was in heaven. Notice that the subject of forthcoming rewards from "God your Father who was in heaven" indicated that believers / children of the Father are in view. What is not in view is Jesus telling them that they must be righteous enough via keeping commandments in order to attain eternal life.

The manuscript evidence of the original Greek text of Mt 6:1 has a variation relative to one word: "eleEmosunEn," (017K, 019L, 032W, 037, 038, 13, byz), rendered "alms" referring to the giving of alms versus "dikaiosunEn," (01, 03B, 05D, Griesw, Lach, Treg, Alf, Word, Tisc, We/Ho, Weis, Sod, UBS), rendered "righteousness," relative to the performing of godly works which would include the giving of alms. Both Greek words appear in a number of significant manuscripts. If "eleEmousnEn," ("alms)" were the original word, then this verse must be connected to vv. 2-4 as an introduction relative to the giving of alms which would then be part of a section which provided only three things to the disciples to pay careful attention to in their lives, leaving many important points unaddressed. So in the case of "eleEmosuEn" (alms) the section is evidently not firmly connected to the theme of the fulfilling of the Law and the Prophets by Jesus in chapters 5 through 7, listing only three tasks. On the other hand, if "dikaiosunEn" were the original word, then the theme of the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets is established for the temporal life of believers / disciples of which giving, praying, and fasting would be examples. These three works were incidently the major practices which were improperly / and unrighteously practiced by the scribes and Pharisees, (Mt 6:3-18). Furthermore, the Greek word "eleEmosunEn" rendered "alms [giving] which appears in Mt 6:2 might easily be substituted for the similar Greek word "dikaiosunEn" rendered "righteousness" in Mt 6:1 by a copyist. Whereas the opposite would not be so likely. So the Greek word "dikaiosunEn" (righteousness) would best fit the context established in vv. 17-20:

1) [Compare Mt 5:17-20]:

(Mt 5:17 NASB) "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

(Mt 5:18 NKJV) For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled.

(Mt 5:19 HOLMAN) Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches people to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever practices and teaches [these commandments] will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

(Mt 5:20 NKJV) For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

So Jesus instructed His disciples not to practice righteousness purposely so that others could see them. They were not to sound a trumpet before themselves as the hypocrites did in the synagogues and in the streets that they might have the glory of men; i.e., they were not to be motivated to act in such an ostentatious manner so as to elicit the approval / favor from men; for then that would be the extent of their reward - a temporal and superficial one compared to an eternal reward from the Father in heaven which would not be forthcoming to them. This is not to say that the disciples / believers might not go to heaven; but that they might not receive eternal rewards when they inevitably got to heaven. For believers have a secure eternal destiny. The attainment of eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven is a guaranteed gift not a reward given when one expresses a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life..

II) [Mt 6:3-4]:

(Mt 6:3 YLT) "But [you], doing [alms], let not [your] left hand know what [your] right hand [does],

(Mt 6:4 KJV) That [your] alms may be in secret: and [your] Father [seeing] in secret... shall reward [you] openly."

A) JESUS' DISCIPLES AND ALL BELIEVERS ARE TO GIVE SECRETLY; THEREBY THEIR FATHER, SEEING THEIR GIVING IN SECRET WILL REWARD THEM OPENLY

(Mt 6:3 YLT) "But [you], doing [alms], let not [your] left hand know what [your] right hand [does], (Mt 6:4 KJV) That [your] alms may be in secret: and [your] Father [seeing] in secret Himself shall reward [you] openly." =

Jesus went on to say that His disciples, (and for that matter all believers), were to give secretly so that the left hand did not know what the right hand was doing, in the sense that one was to give without a mindset of hypocrisy. One was to give with a mindset that was directed toward one's love and gratitude for God their Father for His grace upon them for enabling them to give in the first place. Thereby the Father Himself, seeing their giving in secret, would reward them openly; evidently before everyone in the Kingdom of Heaven at a particular Judgment set aside for that purpose. Charitable giving is not to be viewed as a personal achievement but as a response to one's love and gratitude to God.

III) [Mt 6:5-15]:

(Mt 6:5 ASV) "And when ye pray, ye shall not be as the hypocrites: for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have received their reward.

(Mt 6:6 KJV) But [you], when [you pray], enter into [your private room], and when [you have] shut [your] door, pray to [your] Father... in the secret [place]; and [your] Father [seeing you in the secret place] shall reward [you] openly.

(Mt 6:7 KJV) But when [you] pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

(Mt 6:8 NKJV) Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.

(Mt 6:9 KJV) After this manner therefore pray... Our Father Which art in heaven, Hallowed be [Your] name.

(Mt 6:10 KJV) [Let Your] kingdom come, [Let Your] will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

(Mt 6:11 CBL) the bread our the needed [let us be given] today;

(Mt 6:12 NAS) And forgive us our debts, [transgressions] as we also have forgiven our debtors [those who have transgressed against us].

(Mt 6:13 ASV) And bring us not into temptation, but [let us be delivered] from ... evil.

(Mt 6:14 NKJV) For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

(Mt 6:15 NKJV) But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

A) IN THE SAME MANNER THAT JESUS INSTRUCTED HIS DISCIPLES / BELIEVERS ON ACTING RIGHTEOUSLY RELATIVE TO THE GODLY WAY TO GIVE; HE INSTRUCTED THEM ON ACTING RIGHTEOUSLY RELATIVE TO THE GODLY WAY TO PRAY. THEY WERE TO DO IT IN SECRET, AND THE FATHER WOULD REWARD THEM OPENLY. THEY WERE NEITHER TO PRAY WITH REPETITION, NOR WITH EMPTY RECITATION. JESUS STATED THAT GOD THE FATHER KNEW THE THINGS THEY HAD NEED OF BEFORE THEY ASKED HIM FOR THEM

(Mt 5:20 NKJV) "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven... (Mt 6:1 ASV) Take heed that [you] do not your righteousness before men, to be seen of them: else [you] have no reward with your Father Who is in heaven. (Mt 6:2 ASV) When therefore [you do your righteousness], sound not a trumpet before [yourself], as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. [Truly] I say unto you, They have received their reward. .... (Mt 6:5 ASV) And when ye pray, ye shall not be as the hypocrites: for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have received their reward. (Mt 6:6 KJV) But [you], when [you pray], enter into [your private room], and when [you have] shut [your] door, pray to [your] Father... in the secret [place]; and [your] Father [seeing you in the secret place] shall reward [you] openly. (Mt 6:7 KJV) But when [you] pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. (Mt 6:8 NKJV) Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him." =

In the same manner that Jesus instructed His disciples / believers on acting righteously relative to the godly way to give, (Mt 5:20; 6:1-2); He instructed them on acting righteously relative to the godly way to pray. They were not to be like the hypocrites who loved to pray while standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets so that they might be seen by men. Rather than limiting prayer to a matter between the individual and God, the Pharisees and scribes had turned it into an act to be seen by men in order to demonstrate to others what they perceived as their own personal level of righteousness. They directed their prayers toward men to be heard so that they would receive their praise. Consequently, Jesus declared that the praise of men would be their only reward - a temporal and superficial one, compared to the eternal reward they would not receive. Jesus told His disciples that when they prayed, they were to do it in secret. The Greek word "tamieion" rendered "private room" referred to a secret place within which one was to pray to the Father behind a closed door, ("kleisas tEn thuran," lit., having shut the door").

But when they prayed according to Jesus' instructions, they would be seen in secret by the Father and He would reward them openly, (evidently at a particular Judgment set aside for that purpose in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven before all to see). This is not to say, that prayer in a congregation or prayer group was advised against, but ostentatious prayer, since the model prayer of Mt 6:9-15 addresses the Disciples / believers in the plural "our," (Mt 6:5-6).

Furthermore, the disciples and all believers, were not to pray with stuttering, stammering empty, repetitious chanting like the pagans did. Nor were they to emulate the lengthy, formal, empty recitation prayers of the Pharisees. For these kinds of prayers were made because it was thought that much speaking in such a superficial fashion would cause their prayers to be better heard and answered more favorably. The disciples / believers prayers were not to be filled with meaningless repetitive words. Note that this does not rule out the repetition of thoughtful and meaningful prayers implied by the model prayer which Jesus provided for His disciples, (Mt 6:9-15).

Jesus declared, "For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him." So the disciples' and all believers' prayers were to be motivated by one's love and gratitude for God their Father for His grace upon them for enabling them to pray with the confidence that He knows of and has provided for their needs before they ask of Him, (Mt 6:5-8).

B) JESUS PROVIDED A MODEL FOR PRAYER TO HIS DISCIPLES AND ALL BELIEVERS: THEY MUST PRAY TO "OUR FATHER WHICH ART IN HEAVEN"

AND THEN ACKNOWLEDGE:

(1) THE FATHER'S HOLY NAME, I.E., HIS ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY, ESPECIALLY RELATIVE TO HIS BRINGING HIS KINGDOM RULE IN HEAVEN TO THE EARTH,

(2) HIS PROVISION OF FOOD,

(3) HIS TEMPORAL FORGIVENESS OF TRANSGRESSIONS BEING DEPENDENT UPON ONE'S FORGIVENESS OF OTHERS' TRANSGRESSIONS TOWARDS ONE,

(4) HIS NOT BRINGING ONE INTO TEMPTATION UNTO FALLING INTO SIN, BUT DELIVERING ONE FROM EVIL

(Mt 5:20 NKJV) "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven... (Mt 6:1 ASV) Take heed that [you] do not your righteousness before men, to be seen of them: else [you] have no reward with your Father Who is in heaven. (Mt 6:2 ASV) When therefore [you do your righteousness], sound not a trumpet before [yourself], as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. [Truly] I say unto you, They have received their reward. .... (Mt 6:5 ASV) And when ye pray, ye shall not be as the hypocrites: for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have received their reward. (Mt 6:6 KJV) But [you], when [you pray], enter into [your private room], and when [you have] shut [your] door, pray to [your] Father... in the secret [place]; and [your] Father [seeing you in the secret place] shall reward [you] openly. (Mt 6:7 KJV) But when [you] pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. (Mt 6:8 NKJV) Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. (Mt 6:9 KJV) After this manner therefore pray: Our Father Which art in heaven, Hallowed be [Your] name. (Mt 6:10 KJV) [Let Your] kingdom come, [Let Your] will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Mt 6:11 CBL) the bread our the needed [let us be given] today; (Mt 6:12 NAS) And [let us be forgiven of] our [transgressions] as we also forgive our [transgressors]. (Mt 6:13 ASV) And bring us not into temptation, but [let us be delivered] from ... evil. (Mt 6:14 NKJV) For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Mt 6:15 NKJV) But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." =

After the phrase rendered "After this manner therefore pray," in the KJV, Jesus provided a "manner" of prayer in the sense of a model for prayer to His disciples and all believers of how one should pray. This was not to say that these were the specific words that one must always use when one prays, nor was it a limit upon what issues might be brought up in prayer. Notice that throughout the model prayer the reference is plural, implying that Jesus' model for prayer was designed for believers when they prayed together as well as when they prayed in secret.

Jesus' model prayer for disciples / believers began with stating that it was to "Our Father" to Whom one was to pray. The Greek words "Pater hEmOn" rendered "our Father" in Mt 6:9 in the KJV presumed that His disciples and all believers had an intimate familial, Father / son relationship with God. Throughout His itinerant ministry, Jesus corroborated this in His teaching.

The Fatherhood of God was referred to in the Scripture of Jesus' time in the sense of God being Father over mankind as His creation and; in the more intimate sense of Matthew chapter 6: being Father of His chosen people, Israel; and by implication, of all believers. Israel was declared to be God's firstborn son chosen from all other nations, whom He disciplined as His child numerous times. And it was God Who promised to deliver His children out of the land of Egypt. It can be inferred from Old Testament passages that individual believers have a personal Father / son relationship with God. Jesus brought this message in Scripture to its logical conclusion.

1) [Compare Dt 1:30-31]:

(Dt 1:30 NKJV) "The LORD your God, Who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before you before your eyes,

(Dt 1:31 NKJV) and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place."

2) [Compare Dt 7:6-8]:

(Dt 7:6 NKJV) "For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.

(Dt 7:7 NKJV) The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples;

(Dt 7:8 NKJV) but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt."

3) [Compare Dt 8:5]:

(Dt 8:5 NKJV) "You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the LORD your God chastens you."

4) [Compare Dt 32:6]:

(Dt 32:6 NKJV) "Do you thus deal with the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is He not your Father, who bought you? Has He not made you and established you?"

5) [Compare Mal 2:10]:

(Mal 2:10 NKJV) "Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another by profaning the covenant of the fathers?"

6) [Ex 4:22]:

(Ex 4:22 NKJV) '''Then You shall say to Pharaoh, "Thus says the LORD: 'Israel is My son, My firstborn.' " '''

7) [Isa 64:8]:

(Isa 64:8 NKJV) "But now, O LORD,You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand."

8) [Compare Jer 31:9]:

(Jer 31:9 NKJV) "They shall come with weeping, And with supplications I will lead them. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters, In a straight way in which they shall not stumble;.For I am a Father to Israel, And Ephraim is My firstborn."

9) [Hos 11:1]:

(Hos 11:1 NKJV) "When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son."

Furthermore, God is declared to be Everlasting Father, Who will as a GodMan rule over Israel and the world:

10) [Compare Isa 9:6-7]:

(Isa 9:6 NKJV) "For a child will be born to us, [Israel, (vv. 1-5)] a Son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

(Isa 9:7 NKJV) There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over His kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this."

And the LORD was Israel's Father and Redeemer:

11) [Compare Isa 63:16]:

(Isa 63:16 NKJV) "Doubtless You are our Father, Though Abraham was ignorant of us, And Israel does not acknowledge us. You, O Lord, are our Father; Our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name."

12) [Compare Mt 5:9]:

(Mt 5:9 NKJV) "Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God."

Jesus' frequent reference to God as His Father and as the Father of His disciples, (and by implication, all believers), portrayed a personal intimacy with God. Many took this to be presumptuous, even blasphemous.

In Jesus' model prayer for disciples / believers, God's presence in heaven was to be acknowledged: "Our Father Which art in heaven," Mt 6:9b KJV.

The next point made in the model prayer instructed the believer to declare reverance / respect for God's name: "Our Father, Which art in heaven, Hallowed [i.e., set apart, sanctified, holy] be [Your] name," (Mt 6:9c KJV). The Greek phrase "hagiasthEtO to onoma sou," lit., sanctified or set apart be your name, and rendered "hallowed be your name" in the KJV, referred to the character of God. The one praying was instructed to declare God's name to be set apart above all names, to honor His supremely unique, infinitely good character, (Mt 6:9 KJV).

The model prayer goes on to instruct the believer to acknowledge the Father's absolute sovereignty, transcendance and omnipotence in fulfilling His purposes on earth as well as in heaven: "Let Your] kingdom come, [Let Your] will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." This included bringing His Kingdom of Heaven rule to the earth. Although the purposes of God will inevitably be accomplished, it honors God to pray, "Let it be done," (Mt 6:10).

Thereafter, the model prayer instructed the believer to acknowledge God's provision of food using the Greek word "arton" rendered "bread" to signify food in general.

13) [Compare Mt 6:11 Greek]:

"Ton arton .hEmOn ton epiousion dos...............hEmin sEmeron"

"The bread .our .......the needed ...let be given us.......today"

Since it is stipulated in Scripture that God makes provision for food for mankind, (cf. Ps 136:25); then the Greek verb "dos" which is in the aorist tense signifying a completed action, and the imperative mood is in this case not a command to God for food, for who can command the LORD to do what He declared He would do? Hence, "dos" is best rendered "let us be given" portraying the believer's acknowledgment that however one's food is obtained, it is nevertheless God Himself Who has enabled that provision, (Mt 6:11).

The model prayer next addressed the issue of temporal forgiveness of transgressions against God. Since believers are in view who by definition have already been forgiven unto eternal life, (Mt 5:1); and since forgiving others for transgressions committed against one is not stipulated in order to be forgiven unto eternal life - but only through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone , then temporal forgiveness not forgiveness unto eternal life is in view.

Temporal forgiveness implies a restored fellowship of God with the child of God - the believer. It is characterized by the reception of God's temporal mercy and restoration of blessing to replace temporal discipline. The Greek phrase "aphes hEmin ta opheilEmata hEmOn," rendered, "And [let us be forgiven of] our [transgressions] as we also forgive our [transgressors]," is not a command to God to provide temporal forgiveness, nor a request for forgiveness as some contend; but an acknowledgement by believers that temporal forgiveness of the disciple / believer would not be forthcoming if he were to be unforgiving of others' transgression against him. For one cannot be right with God if one has a wrong attitude toward others. Note that verses 14 and 15 explain verse 12: (Mt 6:12 NAS) And [let us be forgiven of] our [transgressions] as we also forgive our [transgressors]... (Mt 6:14 NKJV) For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Mt 6:15 NKJV) But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses," (Mt 6:12).

In verse 13, Jesus' model prayer addressed the issue of temptation and deliverance from evil: "And bring us not into temptation, but [let us be delivered] from ... evil." The phrase rendered "And bring us not into temptation" should not be interpterted as a request to God to not tempt one to sin. For God, being absolutely Righteous, tempts no one to sin. Hence to ask God to do something that violates His character is not in view. Nor does the phrase mean "Do not test us" for God does test the believer's faithfulness. Instead, the phrase means to not allow one to be led into such temptation that one falls into sin. Although God does not initiate it, He nevertheless permits the devil, the world and one's own sin nature to tempt one to sin. So the prayer's petition is made in the sense of intervening in the believer's life to imit that temptation so that he does not fall into sin. This is corroborated by the next stipulation in Jesus' model prayer, which is begun with the conjunction rendered, "but" signifying the opposite of being led into temptation unto sin: "And bring us not into temptation but [let us be delivered] from ...evil." So to be delivered from evil is the opposite of being led into temptation unto sin.

14) [Compare Mt 6:13b Greek]:

(Mt 6:13b Greek) "alla rhusai ..hEmas apo ..tou ponErou"

................................"but deliver us ........from the evil"

In the phrase, "alla rhusai hEmas apo tou ponErou" rendered "but [let us be delivered] from ... evil," in Mt 6:13b, the Greek word "ponErou" rendered "evil" which is accompanied by the definite article, does not refer to the Devil as some contend. It means 'evil,' denoting the evil present throughout the world as perpetrated by man as a result of his own sin nature as well as the Devil which encompasses more than the evil perpetrated by the Devil alone.

Mt 6:13 up to this point can be found in 017K, 019L, 032w, 037, 038, 041, 13, 28, 33, etc., byz, lect. On the other hand, there is manuscript evidence for the phrase rendered "For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen," in the NKJV at the end of Mt 6:13. The additional words at the end of verse 13 appear in 01, 03B, 05D, 01701, it. bo. Lach. Treg. Tisc, We/Ho, Weis, Sod, UBS. They do not appear in all of the most ancient texts, of the Old Latin version of the Vulgate. So it is found in a majority of manuscripts, though not the oldest. It is also found in all the Syriac versions, even the Peschito - dating probably as early as the second century - although this version lacks the "Amen," which the doxology, if genuine, was sure to include. It is found in the Sahidic or Thebaic version made for the Christians of Upper Egypt, possibly as early as the Old Latin; and it is found in perhaps most of the later versions. The additional words interrupt the context of the verse as connected with the following two verses, (Mt 6:14-15), which serve to explain verse 13. Hence it must be ruled as a later addition and ruled out as part of the original text. Hence Jesus' model prayer ends here without the phrase "For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen;" and verses 14 and 15 explain verse 12:

****** EXCERPT FROM MT 6:12 ******

[Relative to] the issue of forgiveness of transgressions against God in the sense of temporal forgiveness: Since believers are in view who by definition have already been forgiven unto eternal life, (Mt 5:1); and since one need not have to forgive others for transgressions committed against one in order to be forgiven unto eternal life - but only through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone , then forgiveness unto eternal life is not in view.

Temporal forgiveness implies a restored fellowship of God with the child of God - the believer - characterized by the reception of His temporal mercy and the restoration of blessing to replace temporal discipline. The Greek phrase "aphes hEmin ta opheilEmata hEmOn," rendered, "And [let us be forgiven of] our [transgressions] as we also forgive our [transgressors]," is not a command to God to provide temporal forgiveness, nor a request for forgiveness as some contend; but an acknowledgement by believers that temporal forgiveness of the disciple / believer would be thwarted if he were to be unforgiving of others' transgression against him. In the case of temporal forgiveness, among other things, one must first resolve the problem of unforgiveness toward others for transgressions committed toward one, (as well as confession of one's known sins). For one cannot be right with God if one has a wrong attitude toward others.

****** END OF EXCERPT FROM MT 6:12 ******

(Mt 6:14 NKJV) "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Mt 6:15 NKJV) But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

Note that the Father's temporal forgiveness of trespasses is contingent upon the individual's forgiveness of trespasses against him.

IV) [Mt 6:16-18]:

(Mt 6:16 NKJV) "Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.

(Mt 6:17 NKJV) But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,

(Mt 6:18 NKJV) so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly."

A) JESUS TOLD HIS DISCIPLES (AND ALL BELIEVERS) WHEN THEY FASTED THEY WERE NOT TO MAKE A SHOW OF IT TO IMPRESS OTHERS, FOR THAT WOULD BE THEIR REWARD - A SHALLOW, TEMPORAL ONE. INSTEAD, THEY WERE TO WASH THEIR FACES AND ANOINT THEIR HEADS TO AVOID MAKING THEIR FASTING OBSERVABLE. HENCE THE FATHER, WHO WOULD OBSERVE IT IN SECRET, WOULD REWARD THEM OPENLY IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WITH A REWARD THAT WAS ETERNAL

(Mt 6:16 NKJV) "Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. (Mt 6:17 NKJV) But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, (Mt 6:18 NKJV) so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father Who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly." =

Jesus then turned to a third practice which the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees abused: that of fasting, i.e., of abstaining from eating in order to focus more on one's spiritual life. They made a show of their fasting, such as putting on a sad countenance, disfiguring their faces to observers in order to impress them with their self-righteous religiosity. Hence their reward would be a shallow temporal one of the praise of superficial men, as opposed to an eternal reward in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. The Mosaic Law provided for only one fast: on the Day of Atonement. Other fasts were practiced during the Exile. Jesus instructed His disciples when they fasted to anoint their heads, a sign of great joy; and wash their faces so as not to make it observable that they were fasting; whereupon He declared that the Father would see their actions and reward them openly evidently before everyone in the Kingdom of Heaven at a particular Judgment set aside for the purpose of presenting rewards to faithful believers.

V) [Mt 6:19-21]:

(Mt 6:19 NKJV) "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;

(Mt 6:20 NKJV) but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

(Mt 6:21 NKJV) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

A) JESUS' DISCIPLES AND ALL BELIEVERS MUST AS THEIR FIRST PRIORITY WORK FOR ETERNAL NOT TEMPORAL REWARDS WHICH THE LATTER CAN BE LOST, DESTROYED OR STOLEN. AND WHATEVER TREASURE ONE CAN BE OBSERVED SEEKING REFLECTS UPON WHATEVER ONE'S HEART / MIND AND SOUL IS FOCUSED UPON

(Mt 6:19 NKJV) "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; (Mt 6:20 NKJV) but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Mt 6:21 NKJV) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." =

Relative to how His disciples and all believers were to conduct their lives, Jesus stated, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal." The issue was for Jesus' disciples and all believers as their first priority to work for eternal rewards, not for temporal one's which would eventually be destroyed or stolen. For eternal rewards are neither lost, destroyed or stolen. So the key for earning eternal rewards is to have one's main focus upon the eternal, not the temporal. Material possessions, relationships and positions in the temporal world are to take second place. Earlier in Matthew chapter 5, author Matthew provided nine blessings which conveyed the proper focus for an individual to have in order to receive eternal rewards...

On the issue of temporal versus eternal rewards, Jesus concluded that whatever treasure one can be observed seeking reflects upon whatever one's heart, i.e., one's mind and soul is focused upon.

VI) [Mt 6:22-23]:

(Mt 6:22 NKJV) "The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.

(Mt 6:23 YLT) but if [your] eye may be evil, all [your] body shall be dark; if, therefore, the light that [is] in [you] is darkness - the darkness, how great!"

A) THE EYE IS PORTRAYED AS THE LAMP OF THE BODY, I.E., THE KEY INDICATOR OF AN INDIVIDUAL'S BEHAVIOR. IF IT WAS GOOD, THEN THE WHOLE BODY WAS FULL OF LIGHT, I.E., OF GODLY GOOD. IF IT WAS EVIL, THEN THE BODY WAS DARK, I.E., SINFUL AND HOW GREAT IS THAT DARKNESS!

(Mt 6:22 NKJV) "The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. (Mt 6:23 YLT) but if [your] eye may be evil, all [your] body shall be dark; if, therefore, the light that [is] in [you] is darkness - the darkness, how great!" =

The word rendered "eye" in the context of Mt 6:22 is portrayed as the lamp of the body, i.e., the key indicator of an individual's behavior, whether good or evil. Mt 6:22 stipulated that if one's "eye" was good, i.e., if it portrayed that an individual's focus was on that which was godly good; then the whole body was declared to be full of light in the sense that it was operating via the light / the truth of godly principles. But if one's eye was evil in the sense that it portrayed that an individual's focus was on that which was evil, i.e., sinful; then the whole body was declared to be dark in the sense that sinfulness pervaded one's entire body, i.e., the entire person. And when that body was dark, Jesus declared that the light in the person was characterized as darkness in the sense of being evil, i.e., sinful; and He exclaimed, "The darkness, [the sinfulness] how great!"

VII) [Mt 6:24]:

(Mt 6:24 YLT) "None is able to serve two lords, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to the one, and despise the other; ye are not able to serve God and Mammon."

A) NO ONE IS ABLE TO SERVE TWO LORDS, FOR EITHER HE WILL HATE THE ONE AND LOVE THE OTHER, OR HE WILL HOLD TO THE ONE AND DESPISE THE OTHER. IN THE SAME WAY, NO ONE IS ABLE TO SERVE GOD AS LORD AND TEMPORAL THINGS AS ANOTHER

(Mt 6:22 NKJV) "The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. (Mt 6:23 YLT) but if [your] eye may be evil, all [your] body shall be dark; if, therefore, the light that [is] in [you] is darkness - the darkness, how great! (Mt 6:24 YLT) None is able to serve two lords, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to the one, and despise the other; ye are not able to serve God and Mammon. (Mt 6:24 YLT) None is able to serve two lords, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to the one, and despise the other; ye are not able to serve God and Mammon." =

In the light of Mt 6:22-23, Jesus declared in Mt 6:24 that no one was able to serve two lords. For when one is under one lord, one does not have control over one's own life, one is someone else's possession - that particular lord. Since one's lord demands first priority in obedience; then if one also has another lord, conflict is inevitable; for one cannot serve both lords at the same time because one cannot give both lords first priority in obedience. Hence one will hate the one and love the other, or one will be obedient to the one, and despise the other. In the same way, Jesus stated that one cannot serve God as Lord and mammon as another lord, (in the sense of temporal gain, i.e., wealth / power) at the same time. A choice has to be made.

VIII) [Mt 6:25-34]:

(Mt 6:25 YLT) "Because of this I say to you, be not anxious for your life, what ye may eat, and what ye may drink, nor for your body, what ye may put on. Is not the life more than the nourishment, and the body than the clothing?

(Mt 6:26 NKJV) Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

(Mt 6:27 NKJV) Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

(Mt 6:28 NKJV) "So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;

(Mt 6:29 NKJV) and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

(Mt 6:30 NKJV) Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

(Mt 6:31 NKJV) Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'

(Mt 6:32 NKJV) For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

(Mt 6:33 NKJV) But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

(Mt 6:34 NKJV) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

A) THE DISCIPLES AND ALL BELIEVERS ARE NOT TO BE ANXIOUS ABOUT THE TEMPORAL THINGS IN LIFE. JESUS TOLD THEM TO LOOK AT THE BIRDS OF THE AIR, AND THE FLOWERS OF THE FIELD WHICH THE HEAVENLY FATHER PROVIDES FOR. SO MUCH THE MORE DOES THE FATHER VALUE AND CARE FOR HIS CHILDREN. BEING ANXIOUS FOR TEMPORAL THINGS WILL NOT ADD TO THE VALUE ONE'S LIFE; AND IT DEMONSTRATES A LACK OF FAITH IN GOD. SUCH A TEMPORAL PRIORITY IS CHARACTERISTIC OF GENTILES IN THE SENSE OF THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE IN GOD. INSTEAD DISCIPLES / BELIEVERS ARE TO SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, WHEREUPON TEMPORAL NEEDS WOULD BE PROVIDED FOR. THEY WERE NOT TO WORRY ABOUT TOMORROW WHICH HAS TROUBLE OF ITS OWN, BUT TO TRUST IN THE LORD ONE DAY AT A TIME

(Mt 6:19 NKJV) "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; (Mt 6:20 NKJV) but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Mt 6:21 NKJV) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Mt 6:22 NKJV) The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. (Mt 6:23 YLT) but if [your] eye may be evil, all [your] body shall be dark; if, therefore, the light that [is] in [you] is darkness - the darkness, how great! (Mt 6:25 YLT) Because of this I say to you, be not anxious for your life, what ye may eat, and what ye may drink, nor for your body, what ye may put on. Is not the life more than the nourishment, and the body than the clothing? (Mt 6:26 NKJV) Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Mt 6:27 NKJV) Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? (Mt 6:28 NKJV) So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; (Mt 6:29 NKJV) and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (Mt 6:30 NKJV) Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (Mt 6:31 NKJV) Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' (Mt 6:32 NKJV) For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. (Mt 6:33 NKJV) But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Mt 6:34 NKJV) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." =

The phrase rendered "because of this" in Mt 6:25 refers to the options which individuals have as indicated in verses 19-24 - the option to put the main focus of their lives on the temporal or on the eternal; and the consequences thereof. Jesus commanded His disciples, hence all believers, not to be anxious about their temporal needs such as food, drink, clothing, etc. He indicated that one's life consisted of more than the temporal. He went on to say that birds neither sowed, nor reaped, nor gathered their food into barns, "Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value [to Him] than they?" He made the point that being anxious about the provision of temporal things would not add a thing to one's stature in the sense of longevity and well being: "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin [i.e., do work]; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." The word rendered "lilies" is used here to refer to wildflowers in general: brightly colored tulips, lilies, anemones, hyacinths, etc. The point was made that where birds work but do not worry; so much the more, flowers neither toil nor spin, yet they are provided for. Jesus went on to say, "Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?" His disciples who were demonstrating little faith, were instead not to worry about such temporal matters, as the Gentiles did. The word rendered Gentiles was used to imply those who did not believe in God, especially as Creator and Provider. Disciples / believers were to trust in their Father Who has made provision for them. Note that Jesus' words implied that God was Creator and Provider of all things. Jesus went on to say that the Father knew what one needed. In the final analysis, one was to "Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these [temporal] things shall be added to you. Therefore [Jesus said] do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble," in the sense that that is all that God requires - to take one day at a time. Note that the Kingdom of God was referred to by Jesus in such a manner that it parallels in meaning the expression "the Kingdom of Heaven" which appears at the beginning of Matthew chapter 5, when Jesus spoke of nine blessings which conveyed the proper focus for an individual to have in order to receive eternal rewards in the Kingdom of Heaven...

CONTINUE TO MATTHEW CHAPTER 7 {short description of image}