(Mat 6:1 NASB) “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.
Mat 6:1: Keep in mind the subject of this passage. It is referring to those who “practice righteousness before men to be noticed by them…” It is not speaking of doing good deeds in public. This is often necessary. But they must not be done in public for one’s own personal benefit.
Yeshua is addressing certain aspects of worship and obedience in that day that were being abused and used for one’s own glory. Some of these things may not be applicable to circumstances we see today.
(Mat 6:2 NASB) “When therefore you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
Mat 6:2: Giving “alms” is giving to the poor. Yeshua is continuing His discussion on loving your neighbor from the previous chapter and is extrapolating on Leviticus 19. This action of giving to the poor is blessed by the Father (Psalm 112, Prov. 19:17).
Men who do good deeds for the poor in order to gain honor from men already have received their reward. Yeshua says it is their reward in full. They should not expect Elohim to acknowledge these deeds.
(Mat 6:3 NASB) “But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing
(Mat 6:4 NASB) that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
Mat 6:4: This passage is still under the auspice of the previous two verses. We are not to give in public for everyone else to know and honor us for such giving. It is the intent of the giving that is being spoken of here, not whether or not we should claim our contributions as taxes.
Yeshua tells us that our heavenly Father sees in secret. He knows what we are doing at all times (Psalm 139:1-4, Jer. 23:23-24).
(Mat 6:5 NASB) “And when you pray, you are not to be as the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners, in order to be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
Mat 6:5: Once again, this is not a declaration against public prayer. It is the intent of such prayer that is being spoken of. We are told here not to pray in public “in order to be seen by men.”
(Mat 6:6 NASB) “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
Mat 6:6: This is not necessarily saying that we should only pray in a private place. This passage is still a criticism of those who pray in public in order to be seen by men. Prayers to Father should not be a public display of piety.
(Mat 6:7 NASB) “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition, as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.
Mat 6:7: Our prayers should get to the heart of the matter. Elohim does not want our flowery words or habitual repetitions. Our prayers are to be short and to the point (Ecc. 5:2-3, 7).
(Mat 6:8 NASB) “Therefore do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him.
Mat 6:8: Elohim wants to know what is in your heart. He does not need to hear you give a flowery speech. There are many keys to effective prayer. But one ingredient is most important – righteousness (Prov. 15:8, 29, 28:9, James 5:16, 1 Peter 3:12).
(Mat 6:9 NASB) “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
Mat 6:9: We are given a pattern for prayer here. We should always acknowledge who Elohim is and hold His Name as sacred.
(Mat 6:10 NASB) ‘Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
Mat 6:10: We should pray for His kingdom to be set up on earth very soon. When that happens, His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Regardless, until then we pray for His will to be done here on earth in the way that honors Him.
(Mat 6:11 NASB) ‘Give us this day our daily bread.
Mat 6:11: This is not really speaking of our daily sustenance which comes from Elohim. Yeshua is about to tell us not to worry about those things (Matt. 6:31-33).
So, what does He mean by “daily bread?” Our daily bread is the Word of Elohim (Deut. 8:3, John 6:32-35). Why did Yeshua say that He is the “Bread of Life?” Because He is the Word of the Father made flesh.
(Mat 6:12 NASB) ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Mat 6:12: If we want to be forgiven of our debts (transgressions) to Him against His Torah, we must forgive those who have debts (transgressions) against us. What is forgiveness? It is treating others in a fashion that says unequivocally they do not owe you anything.
It is true that forgiveness only comes through confession and repentance. Forgiveness is a gift from the Father. It is not something we earn, nor is it automatic because we have said some magic words or have a special feeling in our hearts.
The Tanakh states that we are to forgive others and cleanse ourselves from rebellion against His Torah if we want our prayers heard (Prov. 21:13, Isa. 1:15-17, 58:6-11).
Keep in mind that in this prayer we are saying that we do not want forgiveness to any greater degree than what we forgive others.
(Mat 6:13 NASB) ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.’
Mat 6:13: It is only through Him that we can resist temptation and be delivered from evil. To be kept from temptation and evil should be a constant prayer of ours.
The remainder of that verse is not in any of the early manuscripts. In manuscripts that include it, they vary a great deal.
It does not seem erroneous in its verbiage, but it probably should not be in Scripture. In Luke’s account of this event, it is omitted altogether.
(Mat 6:14 NASB) “For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
(Mat 6:15 NASB) “But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
Mat 6:15: Forgiveness only comes through confession and repentance. However, forgiveness should not be expected if we do not forgive others. This is based upon several principles concerning loving your neighbor as expressed in Torah and in the Tanakh (Prov. 21:13, Isaiah 1:15-17, 58:6-9).
(Mat 6:16 NASB) “And whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance in order to be seen fasting by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
Mat 6:16: The purpose of fasting is to show your dependence on Yahweh. It is not to put on a show for others (Zech. 7:2-6).
(Mat 6:17 NASB) “But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face
(Mat 6:18 NASB) so that you may not be seen fasting by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
Mat 6:18: The reason for fasting is to honor Elohim as your sole provider. This is to be acknowledged in secret, not as a public display of sympathy and piety.
(Mat 6:19 NASB) “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
(Mat 6:20 NASB) “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;
Mat 6:20: What is meant by “treasures?” We are given an excellent definition in Proverbs 2:1-5.
Our true treasures are not the toys and mansions we own in this world. They will one day be nothing. Our treasure is to fear Yahweh (Isa. 33:6).
(Mat 6:21 NASB) for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Mat 6:21: Where is your treasure? If it is in the things of this world, you are totally lost and destitute. All those things will soon fade away. Your treasures are to be in fearing Yahweh and obeying His commandments.
(Mat 6:22 NASB) “The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.
(Mat 6:23 NASB) “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
Mat 6:23: What does Yeshua mean by “light?” That is something that should not be left as undefined (Psalm 119:105, Prov. 6:23, 13:9, Isa. 2:1-5, 51:4, 58:8-10, 1 John 2:8-11).
If the light within us is actually man’s righteousness and not Elohim’s righteousness, then great is our darkness.
(Mat 6:24 NASB) “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Mat 6:24: Mammon is from the Aramaic word “mammonas”. It means “that which is stored up.” You cannot serve your retirement account and Elohim at the same time.
(Mat 6:25 NASB) “For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing?
Mat 6:25: These words of Yeshua are absolutely magnificent. These words are reminiscent of Israel wandering in the wilderness and how Elohim provided food and drink for them, as well as not letting their clothing wear out.
We should not be near as concerned with how we will be provided for as much as we should concern ourselves with how we should live.
(Mat 6:26 NASB) “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?
Mat 6:26: Yeshua is referencing the book of Job (Job 38:41) and the Psalms (Psalm 104:11-28, 145:15-16, 147:7-11).
(Mat 6:27 NASB) “And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life’s span?
Mat 6:27: Yeshua is again quoting the Psalms (Psalm 39:4-6).
(Mat 6:28 NASB) “And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,
(Mat 6:29 NASB) yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these.
(Mat 6:30 NASB) “But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith?
(Mat 6:31 NASB) “Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?‘
Mat 6:31: All these beautiful words of Yeshua are based upon His Father’s written Word (Psalm 78:18-25). Which makes complete sense because He is His Father’s Word made flesh.
(Mat 6:32 NASB) “For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
(Mat 6:33 NASB) “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
Mat 6:33: We should seek first, His kingdom and His righteousness (Psalm 34:9-10). Then all these things will be given to us. We should thoroughly trust in Him and thoroughly walk in His ways.
(Mat 6:34 NASB) “Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Mat 6:34: Anxiousness and worry are a product of faithlessness. Let us trust in Him in all things.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas