START! Bible Study: Matthew 6
Last time in Matthew: Jesus told us who is blessed, told us that the old laws will remain in effect and then proceeded to tell us new rules to the old laws.
1 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.
This bit of scripture first covers how to go about your good deeds, which is to do it like a ninja. You need to be so sneaky about it that you don’t even know that you are doing a good deed. If anybody knows about your charitable deeds you will not be rewarded by god, but only by your fellow man. If you make your good deeds a secret though god will reward you openly.
I guess this is why we never see churches rewarded openly by god. Doesn’t making a charity public automatically make the charities creator and therefore the good deeds seen by men? I would say that most Christian organizations fail at following this rule because most of them have charities for the needy. I wonder if there is a church out there that has charity ninjas, that might be kinda cool and scary at the same time.
5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Well lookie here! Don’t be like the hypocrites praying out in the open for the world to see. I guess folks like Rick Perry and even the author of this beginners bible Greg Laurie missed this memo. You should pray to your father in the “secret place” where he will secretly see you and then you will be rewarded openly. I am starting to think god may be a spy with all this secrecy. When you do pray do not use “vain repetitions” instead use the lord’s prayer over and over. I wonder if thousands of people being asked to pray for the same thing say, helping the economy, would be considered “vain repetition”? Strike two Rick.
All you need is the prayer above, because god already knows what you need. So praying for something is really a useless task because god already knows about it. Just worship him some more with a prayer glorifying him. This god sure does have an ego.
14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Well here is a positive message. Forgive others. But wait, there is a catch, if you don’t forgive others, god is not going to forgive you. Now am I only supposed to forgive men who have trespassed against me, or just any schmo off the street? Who am I to forgive everybody? Let’s assume that it is people who have trespassed against me. This gives me the impression that god views all “trespasses” as equal. This does not seem fair or just. What if all I did was cut him off while driving, but he slaughtered my family? I think I would have a bit of a hard time forgiving that.
16 “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. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 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.
Don’t let people know when you are fasting like those damn hypocrites, again, do it like a ninja. I wonder if this rule applied to Jesus. He fasted for 40 days when he was in the wild, but he must have told somebody about it, because it was written about earlier. Maybe he gets a pass since his dad is the big man…he is the big man….he made the rule….how does that trinity thing make sense again?
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Don’t have any material possessions that you treasure here on earth, because they can be destroyed or stolen. Instead, put your treasures in heaven, because bugs can’t get to them and neither can thieves. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” I actually agree with this part. My friends and family are what I consider my treasure, and my heart is very much in that.
Now if this passage is saying not to have material possessions that you treasure, I wonder why there are so many multimillionaire evangelists. Maybe they don’t treasure their wealth, but they sure do seem to live it up off the money of their followers.
22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
The lamp of the body is the eye? Well this is just nonsense. This is where the saying “The eyes are the window to the soul” comes from. How would one have a good eye or a bad eye? Does this mean that blind people are full of darkness because their eyes are bad? That seems a bit unfair. While a person’s eyes can show emotion they cannot always reveal a person true nature. This passage is then ended with more nonsense, if light is darkness? That is on par with saying up is down and left is right.
24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Ah there is a little bit of the O.T. god, your master. This passage is saying that there is no middle ground on who your god is. I wonder how all of the polytheistic religions do it. I choose to serve no master, I would rather be free than be a slave to anything.
25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 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? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 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?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Well this bunch of scripture is just a heaping pile of rubbish. It starts off by telling you not to worry about your life, what you will eat, drink, or wear. Life is more than food and the body more than clothing, but without these things one would likely die. Sure, birds do not farm, but they do migrate for food or some go into a temporary type of hibernation called torpor to make it through the winter. What can one accomplish through worry? Well, if you make a plan for the things you are worried about you can accomplish much. Why worry about clothing? It protects you from the elements, that is why. Apparently grass wears clothes that god provides to it…right. But if you have faith god will clothe you.
So don’t worry about anything, instead just have a big old heaping amount of faith. If you seek the kingdom of god he will provide you with everything that you need. Don’t worry about your future, there are much more important matters to worry about now. People, please do not believe this book. Plan for your future. If you worry about what is to come you can make a plan for what is to come.
Summary: God wants you to be a ninja, he does everything in secret like a spy, and don’t worry about your life.