Matthew 6:16-34

Jesus teaches people about different things

16 Jesus then said, ‘You may decide not to eat food for some time. But do not look sad so that people know you are doing a special thing. Hypocrites want people to see how good they are. They make their faces dirty. Then other people can see that they have stopped eating. I tell you this: People have praised them and that is the only gift that they will get. 17 But when you stop eating for some time, you should wash your face. Make your hair look nice. 18 Then other people will not know that you are doing a special thing. But God, your Father, will know. You do not see him but he sees what you do secretly. He will give you good things in return.

6:16Some people stop eating for hours or days so that they can have more time with God. This causes them to feel nearer to God when they pray. But the hypocrites did it for the wrong reason.

19 Do not want to have many valuable things here in the world. Insects or water can destroy those kinds of things. Or people may come into your house and they can rob you of those things. 20 Instead, you should want to have valuable things in heaven. Insects and water cannot destroy anything there. Men cannot rob you of your things there. 21 Then you will be thinking a lot about heaven, because that is where you keep your valuable things.

6:21People think about their valuable things, so it is better to have them stored with God in heaven above. They will be safe there. We will also think about going to be with God.

22 Your eyes are like lamps and your body is like a room. Make sure that your eyes are like a clean lamp, then your whole body will have light. 23 If your eyes are not good, then your whole body will be in the dark. If the light in you has become dark, you will be living in a very dark place.’

6:23Jesus himself is the light that he is talking about. If a person lets Jesus rule his life, there will be nothing dark or hidden. But some people do not believe Jesus' words. They are like a person who is living in the dark.

24 Jesus said, ‘Nobody can work as a slave for two masters at the same time. Maybe he will hate one of the masters, but he will love the other one. Or he will work well for one master, but he will think bad things about the other master. God and money are like different masters. You cannot work for both of them.

25 So, I tell you this: Do not be thinking all the time about how to stay alive. Do not have trouble in your mind about the food and drink that you need. Do not always be thinking about the clothes that you need to wear. Your life is more important than the food that you eat. Your body is more important than your clothes. 26 Think about the wild birds. They do not plant seeds in the ground. They do not cut down plants to eat. They have no buildings to store food. But God, your Father in heaven, gives them food to eat. You are much more valuable than the birds. 27 Even if you are always thinking about your life, you cannot make it go on any longer, not even by one hour!

28 You should not have trouble in your mind about your clothes. Think about how the wild flowers grow. They do not work or make clothes for themselves. 29 But I tell you this. Even one wild flower is more beautiful than King Solomon was. And King Solomon wore the most beautiful clothes. 30 It is God that gives beautiful clothes even to the grass. One day the grass is growing in the field, but the next day people will cut it and burn it. God will certainly take care of you, much more than he takes care of the grass. You should trust him more than you do!

6:30People burned dry grass and wild flowers on fires to cook their food.

31 So, do not have trouble in your mind about these things. Do not always say, “What will we eat?”, or “What will we drink?”, or “What will we wear?” 32 People who do not know God are always thinking about these things. But as for you, your Father in heaven knows that you need them. 33 Instead, always think about the things that are important in the kingdom of heaven. Always do what God shows you is right. Then he will also give you the things that you need each day. 34 So do not have trouble in your mind about what might happen tomorrow. Tomorrow will have its own problems. It is enough for you to be thinking each day about the problems of that day.’