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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
Teaching about Charity
1 # Mt 23.5 “Make certain you do not perform your religious duties in public so that people will see what you do. If you do these things publicly, you will not have any reward from your Father in heaven.
2 “So when you give something to a needy person, do not make a big show of it, as the hypocrites do in the houses of worship and on the streets. They do it so that people will praise them. I assure you, they have already been paid in full. 3But when you help a needy person, do it in such a way that even your closest friend will not know about it. 4Then it will be a private matter. And your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you.
Teaching about Prayer
(Lk 11.2–4)
5 # Lk 18.10–14 “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites! They love to stand up and pray in the houses of worship and on the street corners, so that everyone will see them. I assure you, they have already been paid in full. 6But when you pray, go to your room, close the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you.
7 “When you pray, do not use a lot of meaningless words, as the pagans do, who think that their gods will hear them because their prayers are long. 8Do not be like them. Your Father already knows what you need before you ask him. 9This, then, is how you should pray:
‘Our Father in heaven:
May your holy name be honoured;
10 may your Kingdom come;
may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today the food we need. # 6.11 we need; or for today; or for tomorrow.
12 Forgive us the wrongs we have done,
as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.
13 Do not bring us to hard testing,
but keep us safe from the Evil One.’ # 6.13 Some manuscripts add For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever. Amen.
14 # Mk 11.25 “If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.
Teaching about Fasting
16 “And when you fast, do not put on a sad face as the hypocrites do. They neglect their appearance so that everyone will see that they are fasting. I assure you, they have already been paid in full. 17When you go without food, wash your face and comb your hair, 18so that others cannot know that you are fasting — only your Father, who is unseen, will know. And your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you.
Riches in Heaven
(Lk 12.33–34)
19 # Jas 5.2–3 “Do not store up riches for yourselves here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal. 20Instead, store up riches for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and robbers cannot break in and steal. 21For your heart will always be where your riches are.
The Light of the Body
(Lk 11.34–36)
22 “The eyes are like a lamp for the body. If your eyes are sound, your whole body will be full of light; 23but if your eyes are no good, your body will be in darkness. So if the light in you is darkness, how terribly dark it will be!
God and Possessions
(Lk 16.13; 12.22–31)
24 “No one can be a slave of two masters; he will hate one and love the other; he will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
25 “This is why I tell you not to be worried about the food and drink you need in order to stay alive, or about clothes for your body. After all, isn't life worth more than food? And isn't the body worth more than clothes? 26Look at the birds: they do not sow seeds, gather a harvest and put it in barns; yet your Father in heaven takes care of them! Aren't you worth much more than birds? 27Can any of you live a bit longer#6.27 live a bit longer; or grow a bit taller. by worrying about it?
28 “And why worry about clothes? Look how the wild flowers grow: they do not work or make clothes for themselves. 29#1 Kgs 10.4–7; 2 Chr 9.3–6But I tell you that not even King Solomon with all his wealth had clothes as beautiful as one of these flowers. 30It is God who clothes the wild grass — grass that is here today and gone tomorrow, burnt up in the oven. Won't he be all the more sure to clothe you? How little faith you have!
31 “So do not start worrying: ‘Where will my food come from? or my drink? or my clothes?’ 32(These are the things the pagans are always concerned about.) Your Father in heaven knows that you need all these things. 33Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things. 34So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings.