- In verse 22 Jesus declared, “Therefore I tell you, don’t worry about your life, what you will eat; or about the body, what you will wear.”
- In verse 25 He asked rhetorically, “Can any of you add a cubit to his height by worrying?”
- In verse 26 He continued, “If then you’re not able to do even a little thing, why worry about the rest?”
The same word is used in verses 25, 27, 28, 31, and 34 of Matthew 6. In statements that echo the very same theme we see highlighted above, Jesus gave these instructions.
- “Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear” (v. 25).
- “Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying?” (v. 27).
- “And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread” (v. 28).
- “So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’” (v. 31).
- “Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (v. 34).
It is unfortunate that the translators of the King James Version rendered Jesus’ command not to worry as a command to “take no thought.” Our Lord was not making a case that no preparation should be made for future needs. Such preparation often includes actions such as taking out a life insurance policy and preparing a will. These kinds of steps aren’t necessarily reflective of a lack of faith.
What does reflect a lack of faith is anxiety, an unhealthy preoccupation with what can happen or what might happen. People who worry cannot experience the peace that comes from trusting God. You see, when one worries, he or she is, by definition, not trusting God. No wonder Paul told the Philippian believers, “Don’t worry about [this represents the same Greek word] anything, but in everything through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).
B. Nathaniel Sullivan
Christian educator, Bible teacher, and Editor
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations in SundaySchoolZone.com materials are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.