Seek first...

Wow, another chapter with a lot to digest (hagah). Who wrote this Bible reading plan? ☺
Chapter 6 opens with a simple warning from Jesus…”Be careful”. He just finished teaching on murder, adultery, divorce, and revenge, and he segues into giving, praying, and fasting with this warning?
Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them.

Give, but not like the hypocrites who do so to be honored by men…. do so secretly.
Pray, but not like the hypocrites who pray to be seen…. do so behind closed doors.
Fast, but not like the hypocrites who show off…. don’t let it be obvious.

Is there a wrong way to do a good thing? What do you think Jesus is getting at?

The first thing that comes to my mind is pride. Spiritual pride. Something I struggle with greatly.

In “Mere Christianity”, CS Lewis has a wonderful chapter called The Great Sin.
Lewis writes, “The vice I am talking of is Pride or Self-Conceit: and the virtue opposite to it, in Christian morals, is called Humility. The devil is perfectly content to see you becoming chaste and brave and self-controlled provided, all the time, he is setting up in you the Dictatorship of Pride - just as he would be quite content to see your chilblains cured if he was allowed, in return, to give you cancer. For Pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.”

What are our motives? And whom are we trying to please/impress? Do I seek God’s kingdom first, or my own? God wants more than just our actions, he wants our hearts. When our motives are to seek God and his kingdom first we find true life.

The second part of this chapter starting in verse 19 is worth memorizing! A passage I think we should return to everyday in our walk with God.

A Hebrew idiom appears in verse 22. Does anyone want to explain it?


  1. Great passage considering "Matt's" sermon yesterday. In verse 22, it talks about the eye being the lamp that provides light for the whole body. When your eye is good (i.e. fixed on God, abiding in Christ) your whole body is filled with light. Light being the reflection of God.. or that "SHINE" we talk about at MMCC. Wherever our eye is fixed, that's where we're going. Wherever our treasure is, that's where our heart is. It will be obvious to others (by the shining or non-shining of our bodies) where our eyes are fixed.
    Earlier in the chapter it warns about boasting of our righteousness. Here in verse 22 it tells us that our state of righteousness will be obvious to others by how much "shine" we have. No need to boast about it.. boasting will only snuff out our "shine".
    SHINE on...

  2. Clearly verse 22 isn't talking about actual eyesight. So, my best guess would be it's talking about generosity (Good Eyes) and greed (Evil Eyes).

    On a separate note, did anyone else feel a bit guilty parking their car in their garage and throwing the left-overs in the garbage yesterday? We're rich - remember?

  3. Good question, Jared. I was wondering how that fit in the middle of that talk about money....

    I also read a comment in my Life Application Bible about verse 34. "Planning for tomorrow is time well spent; worrying about tomorrow is time wasted." I thought that was a good clarification. So, someone doesn't think "I don't even need to think about it."

  4. Dr. Tasker suggests that "if a man’s spiritual sight is healthy and his affections directed toward heavenly treasure, his whole personality will be without blemish."
    KJV Bible commentary. 1997, c1994. Thomas Nelson: Nashville
    That is my prayer for our body of believers.


  5. I have always looked at the 22nd verse and understood the eyes, or "light", as a guide for our body to follow. I mean, the eyes direct which way we walk physically, making our path visible. In the same way, our eyes light our minds. Images, movements, words, figures, etc. are all items we see with our eyes. After sight, our minds begin to focus and digest the good or bad (light or dark) information or image. So our eyes can shine light (good) or remain darkened (bad) and our physical and mental lives follow down whichever path the eyes lead.

  6. I like the fact that chapter 7 has Jesus telling us "don't judge" and later that we do need to discern. A note in my Life Application Bible says, "Jesus statement... is against the kind of hypocritical, judgmental attitude that tears others down in order to build oneself up. It is not a blanket statement to overlook wrong behavior of others but a call to be discerning rather than negative."

  7. Great thoughts here. So glad you are all on this journey-
    Mac - nice. But remember, grateful, not guilty.
    Stiles - good reminder of a powerful prayer. We need to pray as Jesus taught - not just by repeating words, but by understanding the intent.
    Pam - Judging vs. discerning - tough balance, but one that is needed.
    Birtsy - love the quote.
    Stoner - good thoughts on our eyes. Where are we taking our minds?
    Love the conversation...and the journey. Thanks J-Doe for leading us this week.