Matthew 6:28 MEANING

Matthew 6:28
(28) Why take ye thought for raiment?--The question might well be asked of every race of the whole family of man. Yet we ought not to forget its special pointedness as addressed to a people who reckoned their garments, not less than their money, as part of their capital, and often expended on them the labour of many weeks or months. (Comp. Matthew 6:20; James 5:2.)

Consider the lilies of the field.--Here again we may think of the lesson as drawn immediately from the surrounding objects. The hill-sides of Galilee are clothed in spring with the crown imperial, and the golden amaryllis, and crimson tulips, and anemones of all shades from scarlet to white, to say nothing of the commoner buttercups and dandelions and daisies; and all these are probably classed roughly together under the generic name of "lilies." And these, with what we may reverently speak of as a love of Nature, the Lord tells His disciples to "consider," i.e., not merely to look at with a passing glance, but to study--to learn, as it were, by heart--till they have realised every beauty of structure and form and hue.

Verse 28. - Parallel passage: Luke 12:26, 27. Luke's is longer and seemingly more original. But in the absence of external evidence, it must always be a matter of opinion whether Matthew has compressed the longer form of the words, or vice versa. And why take ye thought for raiment? In vers. 25-27 our Lord had spoken of food; in vers. 28-30 he speaks of dress. He insists on the needlessness (ver. 28) and on the comparative uselessness (ver. 29) of anxiety about it, since even the king who had the greatest opportunities could not vie in clothing with a single lily. Flowers have this glorious clothing (ver. 30), though they are so perishable: much more shall you be clothed. Consider (ver. 26, note). The lilies (τὰ κρίνα). Though there are many kinds of lilies in Palestine, and some of brilliant colouring (particularly the purple and white Huleh lily found round Nazareth), yet none of them grows in such abundance as to give the tone to the colouring of the flowers generally. It seems, therefore, probable that the word is employed loosely. So, perhaps, in the LXX. of Exodus 25:31, 33, 34, and other passages, where it represents the "flowers" (פֶּרַח) on the candlestick. It appears, too, that שׁושֶׁן ("lily," Authorized Version in Canticles) is also used by the Arabs of any bright flower. If a single species is to be thought of, Canon Tristram would prefer the Anemone coronaria of our gardens, which is "the most gorgeously painted, the most conspicuous in spring, and the most universally spread of all the floral treasures of the Holy Land" ('Natural History of the Bible,' p. 464, edit. 1877). Of the field. Matthew only in this phrase (but cf. ver. 30, note). Its insertion emphasizes the spontaneity of origin, the absence of cultivation, the "waste" as not grown for the comfort or pleasure of man. How they grow. Professor Drummond's beautiful remarks upon this verse ('Natural Law,' etc.) do not belong to exegesis, but to homily, for the stress of our Lord's words lies on "grow," not on "how;" he is thinking of the fact, net the manner of their growth. They toil not; to produce the raw material. Neither do they spin; to manufacture it when produced. "Illud virorum est, qui agrum colunt; hoc mulie-rum domisedarum" (Wetstein).

6:25-34 There is scarcely any sin against which our Lord Jesus more warns his disciples, than disquieting, distracting, distrustful cares about the things of this life. This often insnares the poor as much as the love of wealth does the rich. But there is a carefulness about temporal things which is a duty, though we must not carry these lawful cares too far. Take no thought for your life. Not about the length of it; but refer it to God to lengthen or shorten it as he pleases; our times are in his hand, and they are in a good hand. Not about the comforts of this life; but leave it to God to make it bitter or sweet as he pleases. Food and raiment God has promised, therefore we may expect them. Take no thought for the morrow, for the time to come. Be not anxious for the future, how you shall live next year, or when you are old, or what you shall leave behind you. As we must not boast of tomorrow, so we must not care for to-morrow, or the events of it. God has given us life, and has given us the body. And what can he not do for us, who did that? If we take care about our souls and for eternity, which are more than the body and its life, we may leave it to God to provide for us food and raiment, which are less. Improve this as an encouragement to trust in God. We must reconcile ourselves to our worldly estate, as we do to our stature. We cannot alter the disposals of Providence, therefore we must submit and resign ourselves to them. Thoughtfulness for our souls is the best cure of thoughtfulness for the world. Seek first the kingdom of God, and make religion your business: say not that this is the way to starve; no, it is the way to be well provided for, even in this world. The conclusion of the whole matter is, that it is the will and command of the Lord Jesus, that by daily prayers we may get strength to bear us up under our daily troubles, and to arm us against the temptations that attend them, and then let none of these things move us. Happy are those who take the Lord for their God, and make full proof of it by trusting themselves wholly to his wise disposal. Let thy Spirit convince us of sin in the want of this disposition, and take away the worldliness of our hearts.And why take ye thought for raiment,.... Having exposed the folly of an anxious and immoderate care and thought, for food to support and prolong life, our Lord proceeds to show the vanity of an over concern for raiment:

consider the lilies of the field or "the flowers of the field", as the Arabic version reads it, the lilies being put for all sorts of flowers. The Persic version mentions both rose and lily; the one being beautifully clothed in red, the other in white. Christ does not direct his hearers to the lilies, or flowers which grow in the garden which receive some advantage from the management and care of the gardener; but to those of the field, where the art and care of men were not so exercised: and besides, he was now preaching on the mount, in an open place; and as he could point to the fowls of the air, flying in their sight, so to the flowers, in the adjacent fields and valleys: which he would have them look upon, with their eyes, consider and contemplate in their minds,

how they grow; in what variety of garbs they appear, of what different beautiful colours, and fragrant odours, they were; and yet

they toil not, or do not labour as husbandmen do, in tilling their land, ploughing their fields, and sowing them with flax, out of which linen garments are made:

neither do they spin; the flax, when plucked and dressed, as women do, in order for clothing; nor do they weave it into cloth, or make it up into garments, as other artificers do.

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