Matthew 6:25 NASB
For this reason I say to you,
do not be worried about your life,
as to what you will eat or what you will drink;
nor for your body,
as to what you will put on.
Is not life more than food,
and the body more than clothing?
King James Bible
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Because of this I say to you, you shall not take pains for yourselves with what you will eat, or what you will drink, neither for your body, what you will put on; behold, is not the soul greater than food, and the body than clothing?
Young’s Literal Translation
‘Because of this I say to you, be not anxious for your life, what ye may eat, and what ye may drink, nor for your body, what ye may put on. Is not the life more than the nourishment, and the body than the clothing?
Take no thought.
The Greek word some times thus translated, and sometimes by “care” or “be careful” (1Corinthians 7:32-34; Philippians 2:20; Philippians 4:6), expresses anxiety, literally, the care which distracts us.
And this was, in the sixteenth century, the meaning of the English phrase “take thought.” Of this we have one example in 1 Samuel 9:5; other examples of it are found in Shakespeare, “take thought, and die for Cæsar” (Julius Cæsar, ii. 1), or Bacon (Henry the Eighth, p. 220), who speaks of a man “dying with thought and anguish” before his case was heard.
The usage of the time, therefore, probably led the translators of 1611 to choose the phrase, as stronger than the “be not careful” which in this passage stood in all previous versions.
The changing fortune of words has now made it weaker, and it would be better to substitute “over-careful” or “over-anxious.”
The temper against which our Lord warns His disciples is not that of foresight, which merely provides for the future, but the allowing ourselves to be harassed and vexed with its uncertainties. To “take thought” in the modern sense is often the most effectual safeguard (next to the higher defence of trust in God) against “taking thought” in the older.
For your life.
The Greek word is the same as that commonly rendered “soul,” and the passage is interesting as an example of its use in the wider sense which includes the lower as well as the higher life. (Comp. Matthew 10:39; Matthew 16:25; Mark 3:4, et at.)
We note in the form of the precept the homeliness of the cases selected as illustration. We hear the language of One who speaks to peasants with their simple yet pressing wants, not to the wider cares of the covetous or ambitious of a higher grade.
Is not the life more than meat, . . .?
The reasoning is à fortiori.
God has given you the greater, can you not trust Him to give you also the less?
In some way or other there will come food to sustain life, and clothing for the body, and men should not so seek for more as to be troubled about them.
Food and clothing are some of the biggest worries of our human existence.
They have been for centuries.
God reminds us, however, that no matter how important these may seem to be in our world, life is really much bigger than these things and God wants us to trust that He will supply them when we trust in Him.
Know that your desire for things makes you anxious and near-sighted in your faith.
▪︎ Ask the Lord to give you a more expansive view of His Kingdom so you can use your blessings to help others.
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