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Welcome to our Expedition exploring the Sermon on the Mount together. These weekly Expedition Notes are intended to enhance our experience together on this journey. So, grab a Bible, a journal or a notebook and let's dive into this amazing study about living life as God's people, part of His kingdom.
following Sunday, May 7, 2017 message: Worryblind
Friday, May 12, 2017
Day 5: The Summary
The structure of the very middle of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:25-34 looks like this:
A - Don't worry about food or clothing
B - Birds have food; you're worth more than birds
X - Worry adds nothing to your life
B' - Flowers are clothed; you're worth more than flowers
A' - Don't worry about food or clothing
and for a little more detail, the final part of this section (A') is extended and forms another smaller chiasm:
a - Don't worry about food or clothing (Matthew 6:31)
b - Gentiles seek these things (Matthew 6:32a)
x - Father knows you need these things (Matthew 6:32b)
b' - Seek the kingdom & you will have these things (Matthew 6:33)
a' - Don't worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34)
So, the center of the center section, which means the central thought in the whole Sermon is this interesting verse in Matthew 6:27,
“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?"
which, of course, is not the best translation of this thought. It really should read something more like,
“And who of you by being worried can add a single unit of measure to the stature of any aspect of your life?"
The reason that this is a better translation is that the word for "unit of measure" is not limited to length of life, or height, or any other single aspect of one's life. And the word translated "life" also doesn't really mean life as much as it means maturity. So, this phrase really means that worry will not add an inch to your height, a day to your life, a penny to your account, an ounce to your influence, etc. Anything that can be measured will not be enhanced by worry.
The point is that worry will do a lot to get you off track with the kingdom of God, but will do nothing to actually help you in this world. On the other hand, seeking God's kingdom and His kind of right living will keep you on track for the world to come, plus He will take care of your needs in this world as well.
We have reached the center of the Sermon. So, working our way out by section, this is the message:
Central Thought of the Sermon: As first priority, seek God's kingdom (His King, Jesus, and the subordination of your life to Him) and His righteousness (the kind of interactions with others that He has been talking about in the Sermon). That is, love God and love others, not just with feelings and thoughts, but with actions and intentions.
Keep a close watch on your heart and life. Root out any worry and replace it with faith and trust in your faithful and trustworthy heavenly Father. Live your life in worship of God and in service to others. When these things start to break down in any area of life, look for the worry that is causing the breakdown and pull it out.