The Sermon on the Mount #14 - Don't Worry, Be Happy
The Sermon on the Mount #14:
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Text: Matt. 6:25-34
Thesis: To look at why Christians need not to worry because of God’s provisions.
(1) For most people, worrying is a fact of life.
(2) However, for Christians, worrying should be non-existent.
(3) Let us note why that is the case.
I. First, let us note the context of this admonition (v. 25).
A. ‘Worry’ (Gr. merimnao) means “to be apprehensive, have anxiety, be anxious, be (unduly) concerned” (BDAG).
1. “‘Worry’ is the key word of this entire section, since it occurs six times (vv. 25, 27–28, 31, 34 [2x]). The KJV’s ‘take no thought’ is definitely misleading here. Christians must plan for the future, but they need not be anxious” (NAC).
2. “Concern is appropriate when it is directed toward right things, kept within bounds, and causes us to do our proper duty. However, merimnao also expresses intense feelings of anxiety about issues of life, such as what to say when arrested for preaching the gospel (Matt. 10:19), about many less important things (Luke 10:41), or about the pressing daily matters of life. Paul uses this meaning when he says, ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God’ (Phil. 4:6). Worry is inappropriate or wrong when it is misdirected, is in wrong proportion, or indicates a lack of trust in God. It is this latter sense that Jesus addresses here” (NIV Application).
B. In this context, Jesus has just discussed the problems with materialism and now continues to focus in on undue concern for the physical things of life.
C. “Jesus is talking about being so wrapped up in securing things that we become anxious, disturbed, and sleepless. Being focused upon the things of the world keeps a person from walking in the fullness and enjoyment of life. Worry and anxiety can cause serious health problems ranging from sleepless nights and headaches to ulcers, high blood pressure, and heart attacks” (Preacher's Outline and Sermon Bible).
II. Second, let us note the reason for this admonition (vv. 26-32, 34).
A. God takes care of the animal kingdom (v. 26).
B. Worrying has never been to change anything in and of itself (v. 27).
C. God takes care of the plant kingdom (vv. 28-30a.).
D. Worrying demonstrates a lack of faith in God’s provisions (v. 30b.).
E. God knows your needs (vv. 31-32).
F. There is enough trouble to deal with in the here and now (v. 34).
III. Third, let us note the requirement in order to benefit from this admonition (v. 33).
A. “The imperative ‘seek’ (zhteivte, zēteite) calls for a persistent wholehearted devotion” (College Press New Testament Commentary).
B. ‘First’ demands that God must be one’s utmost priority.
C. When one does this, then God will ensure that his/her needs are supplied.
(1) With God, there is no reason to worry.
(2) Without God, there is every reason in the world to worry.