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Matthew 6

6
Doing Good Deeds Secretly
1“Be careful not to do good deeds in front of other people so that they’ll see you. If you do that, you won’t get any reward from your Father in heaven.
Giving to People in Need
2“When you give to people in need, don’t announce it by having trumpets blown in front of you. That’s what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets because they want people to notice them. Truly I tell you, that’s all the reward they’ll get. 3But when you give to people in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4Then your Father, who sees what you do in secret, will reward you.
Prayer
5“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that other people will see them. Truly I tell you, that’s all the reward they’ll get. 6When you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father, who can’t be seen. Then your Father, who sees what you do in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, don’t keep talking on and on like the people who worship other gods. They think their prayers will be answered because they’ve talked so much. 8Don’t be like them, because your Father knows what you need even before you ask him.
9“Therefore, pray like this:
“ ‘Our Father in heaven,
may your name be honored.
10May your kingdom come—
may your will be done on earth
as it already is done in heaven.
11Give us today our daily bread,
12and forgive our sins,
just as we forgive those who sin against us.
13Don’t let us fall into temptation,
and save us from the evil one.’
14If you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you don’t forgive other people, your Father won’t forgive your sins.
Fasting
16“When you go without eating, don’t look all sad like the hypocrites. They make strange faces so that people will notice that they’re fasting. Truly I tell you, that’s all the reward they’ll get. 17But when you go without eating, refresh your hair with olive oil and wash your face. 18Then no one will be able to tell that you’re fasting. Only your Father, who can’t be seen, will know it. And your Father, who sees what you do in secret, will reward you.
God and Money
19“Don’t try to get a lot of riches on earth, because moths and pests can destroy your things there, and thieves can break in and steal them. 20Instead, make sure you have a lot of riches in heaven, because moths and pests can’t destroy anything there, and thieves can’t break in and steal anything. 21Wherever your riches are, that’s where your heart will be.
22“The eye lets light into the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eyes are unhealthy, then your whole body will be full of darkness. If the light inside you is darkness, then it’s really dark!
24“No one can serve two masters. Either you’ll hate the first and love the second, or you’ll be devoted to the first and not care about the second. You can’t serve both God and money.
God Knows What You Need
25“So I’m telling you not to worry about your life, what you’ll eat or drink, and not to worry about your body, what you’ll wear. Isn’t there more to life than eating? And isn’t there more to the body than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air. They don’t plant or harvest crops, and they don’t put grain away in barns. But your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than they are? 27Can any of you add even one hour to your life by worrying?
28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the wild flowers grow. They don’t work or make clothes, 29but I tell you that not even Solomon in all his royal robes was dressed as well as one of these flowers. 30If God dresses the wild grass so well, even though it’s here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, isn’t he even more likely to make sure that you have clothes? You have such little faith! 31Don’t get all worried and say, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32People who don’t trust in God are concerned with those things. But your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33So be concerned about the kingdom of God first, and do what he wants you to do, and all those things will also be given to you. 34Don’t worry about tomorrow—let it worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own.
6
Giving to the Poor and Prayer
1 “Be [very] careful not to do your #Lit righteousness before men.good deeds publicly, to be seen by men; otherwise you will have no reward [prepared and awaiting you] with your Father who is in heaven.
2 “So whenever you give to the poor and do acts of kindness, do not blow a trumpet before you [to advertise it], as the hypocrites do [like actors acting out a role] in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored and recognized and praised by men. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, they [already] have their reward in full. 3But when you give to the poor and do acts of kindness, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing [give in complete secrecy], 4so that your charitable acts will be done in secret; and your Father who sees [what is done] in secret will reward you.
5 “Also, when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to pray [publicly] standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets so that they may be seen by men. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, they [already] have their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your most private room, close the door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees [what is done] in secret will reward you.
7 “And when you pray, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8So do not be like them [praying as they do]; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
9 “Pray, then, # I.e. as a model or pattern. in this way:
‘Our Father, who is in heaven,
# I.e. set apart, keep and treat as holy, revere. Hallowed be Your name.
10 # A plea for God’s kingdom to be inaugurated on earth. Your kingdom come,
Your # Including what God wishes to be done by the individual believer—His commands and precepts. will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our # I.e. life’s essentials. daily bread.
12 And forgive us our # I.e. sins, moral failures. debts, as we have forgiven our debtors [letting go of both the wrong and the resentment].
13 And do not # I.e. lead us away from situations where we are vulnerable and have the opportunity to sin. God does not tempt man (see James 1:13) but does allow man to be tested. lead us into temptation, but deliver us from # Or the evil one. evil. # This clause is not found in early mss. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]
14 For if you forgive # Gr anthropoi. others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive others [nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God], then your Father will not forgive your trespasses.
Fasting, The True Treasure, Wealth (Mammon)
16 “And whenever you are fasting, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they put on a sad and dismal face [like actors, discoloring their faces with ashes or dirt] so that their fasting may be seen by men. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, they [already] have their reward in full. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head [as you normally would to groom your hair] and wash your face 18so that your fasting will not be noticed by people, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees [what is done] in secret will reward you.
19 “Do not store up for yourselves [material] treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; 21for where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so if your eye is clear [spiritually perceptive], your whole body will be full of light [benefiting from God’s precepts]. 23But if your eye is bad [spiritually blind], your whole body will be full of darkness [devoid of God’s precepts]. So if the [very] light inside you [your inner self, your heart, your conscience] is darkness, how great and terrible is that darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord].
The Cure for Anxiety
25 “Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27And who of you by worrying can add one #Lit cubit, here probably applied metaphorically to a lifespan.hour to [the length of] his life? 28And why are you worried about clothes? See how the lilies and wildflowers of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin [wool to make clothing], 29yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive and green today and tomorrow is [cut and] thrown [as fuel] into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31Therefore do not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ 32For the [pagan] Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; [but do not worry,] for your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.