Matthew 6:34
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(34) Take therefore no thought for the morrow.—No precept of divine wisdom has found so many echoes in the wisdom of the world. Epicurean self-indulgence, Stoic apathy, practical common-sense, have all preached the same lesson, and bidden men to cease their questionings about the future. That which was new in our Lord’s teaching was the ground on which the precept rested. It was not simply the carpe diem—“make the most of the present”—of the seeker after a maximum of enjoyment, nor the acceptance by man’s will of an inevitable destiny, nor the vain struggle to rise above that inevitable fate. Men were to look forward to the future calmly, to avoid the temper

“Over-exquisite

To cast the fashion of uncertain evils,”

because they had a Father in heaven who cared for each one of them with a personal and individualising love.

Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.—The word rendered “evil” occurs in the Gospels only in this passage, and in the Epistles has commonly the sense of “wickedness.” That meaning would be too strong here; but it reminds us that our Lord is speaking not of what we call the simple accidents or misfortunes of life, but of the troubling element which each day brings with it, and against which we have to contend, lest it should lead us into sin. That conflict is more than enough for the day, without anticipating a further mischief.

Matthew 6:34. Take therefore no thought for the morrow — That is, for futurity, according to the Hebrew idiom, as the word is used, Genesis 30:33. Since the extent and efficacy of the divine providence is so great, and since you are the objects of its peculiar care, you need not vex yourselves about futurity. For the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself — That is, be careful for the morrow when it comes. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof — Speaking after the manner of men. Every time has abundant necessary troubles of its own; so that it is foolish to increase present distresses by anticipating those that are to come, especially as by that anticipation it is not in your power to prevent any future evil. All trouble, however, is upon the whole a real good. It is good physic which God dispenses daily to his children, according to the need and strength of each. Here we may reasonably reflect, with the pious Dr. Doddridge, How kind are these precepts! The substance of which is only this, Do thyself no harm! Let us not be so ungrateful to him, nor so injurious to ourselves, as to harass and oppress our minds with that burden of anxiety, which he has so graciously taken off. Every verse speaks at once to the understanding, and to the heart. We will not therefore indulge these unnecessary, these useless, these mischievous cares. We will not borrow the anxieties and distresses of the morrow, to aggravate those of the present day. Rather we will cheerfully repose ourselves on that heavenly Father, who knows we have need of these things; who has given us the life, which is more than meat, and the body, which is more than raiment. And thus instructed in the philosophy of our heavenly Master, we will learn a lesson of faith and cheerfulness from every bird of the air, and every flower of the field. 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.Take therefore no thought ... - That is, no anxiety. Commit your way to God. The evil, the trouble, the anxiety of each day as it comes, is sufficient without perplexing the mind with restless cares about another day. It is wholly uncertain whether you live to see another day. If you do, it will bring its own trouble, and it will also bring the proper supply of your needs. God will be the same Father then as today, and will make then, as he does now, proper provision for your wants.

The morrow shall take thought - The morrow will have anxieties and cares of its own, but it will also bring the proper provision for those cares. Though you will have needs, yet God will provide for them as they occur. Do not, therefore, increase the cares of today by borrowing trouble from the future. Do your duty faithfully now, and depend upon the mercy of God and his divine help for the troubles which are yet to come.

Remarks On Matthew 6

1. Christ has here forcibly taught the necessity of charity, of prayer, and of all religious duties.

2. We see the necessity of sincerity and honesty in our religious duties. They are not to be done to be seen by people. If they are, they cannot be performed acceptably. God looks upon the heart, nor is it possible to deceive Him. And of what avail is it to deceive people? How poor and pitiable is the reward of a hypocrite! How contemptible the praise of people when God is displeased! How awful will be the condition of such a one beyond the grave!

3. Christ has here, in a particular manner, urged the duty of prayer. He has given a model for prayer. Nothing can equal this composition in simplicity, beauty, and comprehensiveness. At the same time that it is so simple that it can be understood by a child, it contains the expression of all the needs of man at any age and in every rank of life.

The duty of prayer is urged by every consideration. None but God can provide for us; none but He can forgave, and guide, and support us; none but He can bring us into heaven. He is always ready to hear us. The humble He sends not empty away. Those who ask receive, and they who seek find. How natural and proper, then, is prayer! How strange that any man can live, and not pour out his desires to God! How strange that anyone is willing to go to eternity with this sad reflection: "I have gone through this world, spent my probation, wasted my strength, and am dying, and have never prayed!" How awful will be the reflection of the soul through all eternity: "I was offered eternal life, but I never asked for it. I lived from day to day and from year to year in God's world, breathed His air, rioted on His beneficence, forgot His goodness, and never once asked Him to save my soul!" Who will be to blame if the prayerless soul is lost?

Secret and family prayer should be daily. We daily have the same necessities, are exposed to the same dangers, tread upon the borders of the same heaven or hell. How should the voice of praise and prayer go up as incense in the morning, and rise as a rich perfume in the shades of each evening! What more lovely object on earth is there than that of one in the bloom of health and the dew of youth, bending with reverence before the King of heaven, seeking forgiveness, peace, guidance, and salvation! And what a strange, misguided, and piteous object is a soul that never prays!

4. Forgiveness is essential in prayer. If we come to God harboring malice and unwilling to forgive, we have his solemn assurance that we shall not be ourselves forgiven.

5. "Avarice" is alike foolish and an insult to God, Matthew 6:19-24. It is the parent of many foolish and hurtful lusts. It alienates the affections from God produces envy of another's prosperity; leads to fraud, deception, and crime to obtain wealth, and degrades the soul. Man is formed for nobler pursuits than the mere desire to be rich. He lives for eternity, where silver will not be needed and where gold will be of no value. That eternity is near; and though we have wealth like Solomon, and though we be adorned as the lily, yet like Solomon we must soon die, and like the lily our beauty will soon fade. Death will lay us alike low; the rich and the poor will sleep together; and the worm will feed no more sweetly on the unfed and unclothed son of poverty, than on the man clothed in fine linen, and the daughter of beauty and pride. As avarice is moreover the parent of discontent, he only that is contented with the allotments of Providence, and is not restless for a change, is happy. After all, this is the true source of enjoyment. Anxiety and care, perplexity and disappointment, find their way more readily to the mansions of the rich than to the cottages of the poor. It is the mind, not mansions, and gold, and adorning, that gives ease; and he that is content with his situation will "smile upon his stool, while Alexander weeps upon the throne of the world."

6. We see how comparatively valueless is "beauty." How little it is regarded by God! He gives it to the lily, and in a day it fades and is gone. He gives it to the wings of the butterfly, and soon it dies and its beauty is forgotten. He gives it to the flowers of the spring, soon to fall; to the leaves of the forest, soon to grow yellow and decay in the autumn. How many lilies and roses does he cause to blossom in solitude where no man is, where they "waste their sweetness on the desert air!" How many streams ripple in the wilderness, and how many cataracts age after age, have poured their thunders on the air, unheard and unseen by mortals! So little does God think of beauty. So the human form and "face divine." How soon is all that beauty marred; and, as in the lily, how soon is its last trace obliterated! In the cold grave, among the undistinguished multitudes of the dead, who can tell which of all the mouldering host was blessed with a "lovely set of features or complexion?" Alas, all has faded like the morning flower. How vain, then, to set the affections on so frail a treasure!

7. We see the duty and privilege of depending for our daily needs on the bounties of Providence. Satisfied with the troubles of today, let us not add to those troubles by anxieties about tomorrow. The pagan, and they who know not God, will be anxious about the future; but they who know him, and have caught the spirit of Jesus, may surely trust him for the supply of their wants. The young lions do roar, and seek their meat at the hand of God, Psalm 104:21. The fowls of heaven are daily supplied. Shall man only, of all the creatures on earth, vex himself and be filled with anxious cares about the future? Rather, like the rest of the creation, let us depend on the aid of the universal Parent, and feel that he who hears the young ravens which cry will also supply our necessities.

8. Especially is the remark just made of value in reference to those in early life. Life is a stormy ocean. Over that ocean no being presides but God. He holds the winds in his hands, and can still their howlings, and calm the heaving billows. On that ocean the young have just launched their frail bark. Daily they will need protection; daily will they need supplies; daily will they be in danger, and exposed to the rolling of the billows that may ingulf them forever. Ignorant, inexperienced, and in danger, how should they look to God to guide and aid them! Instead of vexing themselves with anxious cares about the future, how should they place humble reliance on God! Safe in His hand, we shall outride the storm and come to a haven of peace. he will supply our wants if we trust him, as he does those of the songsters of the grove. He will be the guide of our youth and the strength of our manhood. If we seek Him, He will be found of us; if we forsake Him, He will cast us off forever, 1 Chronicles 28:9.

9. From all this, how manifest is the propriety of seeking first the kingdom of God! First in our affections, first in the objects of pursuit, first in the feelings and associations of each morning, be the desire and the aim for heaven. Having this, we have assurance of all that we need. God, "our" Father, will then befriend us, and in life and death all will be well.

34. Take therefore no thought—anxious care.

for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself—(or, according to other authorities, "for itself")—shall have its own causes of anxiety.

Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof—An admirable practical maxim, and better rendered in our version than in almost any other, not excepting the preceding English ones. Every day brings its own cares; and to anticipate is only to double them.

No such thoughts as before mentioned, for God will provide for you tomorrow when tomorrow cometh. Besides, every new day will bring forth some new cares; you know not what tomorrow will bring forth, nor what you will have need of tomorrow; and if you did, why should you torment yourselves before the time? It will be time enough when you feel the evils of a succeeding time. You need not torment yourselves with prophesying against yourselves, what it may be shall never be; or if it be, you had not need weaken yourselves for the encountering such evils, by a previous disturbance of your thoughts about them. Take therefore no thought for the morrow,.... Reference is had to Proverbs 27:1. "Boast not of thyself tomorrow": a man cannot promise or assure himself, that he shall have a morrow, and therefore it is great weakness and folly to be anxiously thoughtful about it. This is expressed in the Talmud (s), nearer the sense of Christ's words, after this manner:

, "do not distress thyself with tomorrow's affliction, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth"; perhaps tomorrow may not be, and thou wilt be found distressing thyself, for the time which is nothing to thee.''

And should it come, it is unnecessary to be thoughtful of it in a distressing manner before hand;

for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. The morrow is here introduced by a "prosopopeia", as if it was a person sufficiently thoughtful and careful for the necessaries of it: every day brings along with it fresh care and thought, being attended with fresh wants and troubles; and therefore, it is very unadvisable, to bring the cares and troubles of two days upon one; as he does, who is anxiously concerned today, for the things of tomorrow;

sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. This proverb is thus expressed in the Talmud (t), , "sufficient for distress", or "vexation, is the present time"; which the gloss explains thus,

"sufficient for the vexation it is, that men should grieve for it, at the time that it comes upon them.''

It is very wrong to anticipate trouble, or meet it before hand; if it was for no other reason but this, that every day's trouble is enough, and should not be needlessly added to, by an over concern what shall be done for tomorrow; or how shall the necessities of it be answered, or the trials of it be endured.

(s) T. Bab. Sanhedrim, fol. 100. 2.((t) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 9. 2.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 6:34. Concluding saying of this section—practical, fresh, bold, and taken from the life.

Fritzsche arranges the words thus: ἡ γὰρ αὔριον μεριμνήσει. Τὰ ἑαυτῆς ἀρκετὸν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ἡ κακία αὐτῆς. He takes ἡ κακ. αὐτῆς as in apposition with τὰ ἑαυτῆς; which is forced in itself, and precluded by the reading ἑαυτῆς without τά. If this reading be adopted, the meaning will be as follows: Therefore (inference from all that has been said from Matthew 6:25 onwards) have no care about to-morrow; for to-morrow will care for itself—will have itself as the object of its care, which you ought not, to-day, to take away from to-morrow (ἡ αὔριον is personified). The day, i.e. every day (Bernhardy, p. 315) as it comes round, has enough (does not need to have anything more added, as would be the case if we cared for to-morrow) in its own evil, i.e. in its evil nature, as represented by dangers, sorrows, and so on. Luther well observes: Why wilt thou be concerned beyond to-day, and take upon thyself the misfortunes of two days? Abide by that which to-day lays upon thee: to-morrow, the day will bring thee something else. Comp. on κακία (Chrysostom: ταλαιπωρία), Luke 16:25; Ecclesiastes 7:15; Ecclesiastes 12:1; Amos 3:7; Sir 19:6; 2Ma 4:47. In classical writers, commonly κακοτής; Hom. Il. xi. 382; Od. v. 290; Herod. ii. 128; Soph. El. 228. Comp. however, also κακία, Thucyd. iii. 58. 1; Plato, Legg. vii. p. 814 A. μεριμνᾶν does not occur elsewhere with the genitive, but, like φροντίζειν τινος, may be connected with it; Bernhardy, p. 176 f.; Krüger, § 47. 11; Kühner, IV. 1, p. 325. On the well-known neuter usage, ἄρκετον, sufficient, see Kühner, II. 1, p. 52 f.Matthew 6:34. Final exhortation against care. Not in Luke’s parallel section, therefore regarded by Weiss as a reflection appended by the evangelist, not drawn from apostolic doctrine. But it very fitly winds up the discourse. Instead of saying, Care not about food and raiment, the Teacher now says finally, Care not with reference to to-morrow, εἰς τὴν αὔριον (ἡμέραν understood). It comes to the same thing. To restrict care to to-day is to master it absolutely. It is the future that breeds anxiety and leads to hoarding.—μεριμνήσει: future, with force of an imperative = let it, with genitive (αὐτῆς, W. H[46]) like other verbs of care; in Matthew 6:25, with accus.—ἀρκετὸν: a neuter adjective, used as a noun; a sufficiency.—τῇ ἡμέρᾳ, for each successive day, the article distributive.—ἡ κακία, not the moral evil but the physical, the misery or affliction of life (not classical in this sense). In the words of Chrys. H. xxii., κακίαν φησι, οὐ τὴν πονηρίαν, μὴ γένοιτο, ἀλλὰ τὴν ταλαιπωρίαν, καὶ τὸν πόνον, καὶ τὰς συμφόρας. Every day has some such troubles: “suas afflictiones, quas nihil est necesse metu conduplicare”. Erasmus, Paraph. Fritzsche proposes a peculiar arrangement of the words in the second and third clauses. Putting a full stop after μεριμνήσει, and retaining the τὰ of T.R. before ἑαυτῆς, he brings out this sense: The things of itself are a sufficiency for each day, viz., the evil thereof.

[46] Westcott and Hort.34. the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself] The morrow shall have its own anxieties; sufficient for the day is its own distracting evil or distress. This seems to be the force of the Greek word for “evil.” See Schleusner sub voc.Matthew 6:34. Ἠ αὒριον, κ.τ.λ., the morrow, etc.) A precept remarkable for Asteismus,[298] by which care, though apparently permitted on the morrow, is in fact forbidden altogether; for the careful make present cares even of those which are future, wherefore, to put off care is almost the same as to lay it aside. There is also a personification of the morrow (cf. Psalm 19:2): “the day,” says our Lord, (not you) “shall take care.” He who has learnt this, will contract his cares at length from the day to the present hour, or altogether unlearn them.—μεριμνήσει ἑαυτῇ,[299] shall take care for itself) A Dativus Commodi,[300] as in Matthew 6:25, μὴ μεριμνᾶτε τῇ ψυχῇμηδὲ τῷ σώματι, κ.τ.λ., take no care for your LIFE—nor yet for your Body, etc.—ἀρκετὸν, sufficient) God indeed distributes our adversity and prosperity, through all the periods of our life, after a wonderful manner, so that they temper each other.—ἡ κακία, the evil) i.e. the sorrow; therefore there were no cares in the beginning.—κακία, though originally meaning badness (wickedness), signifies here sorrow; just as the Hebrew טוב (ἀγαθὸς, good) means joyful in Proverbs 15:15.—ΑὐΤῆς, thereof) Although it be not increased by the sorrow of either the past or the coming day.

[298] i.e. For skilfully conveying a stern truth in such a manner as not to repel, offend, or startle the hearer: in the original, “monitum mire ἀστεῖον.”—(I. B.) See on Asteismus in the Append.—ED.

[299] The Ed. Maj. regarded ἑαυτῇ, as a less reliable reading than τα ἑαυτῆς. But Gnom. Ed. 1 (1742 A.D.) and Marg. Ed. 2, and Vers. Germ, prefer ἑαυτῇ—E. B.

[300] See explanation of Technical Terms.—(I. B.)

Sollicitus erit sibi ipse. Vulg.

BGLabc Vulg. Cypr. 210, 307, Hil. 635, read μεριμνήσει ἑαυτῆς. Rec. Text has τὰ ἑαυτῆς, evidently a correction to introduce the more usual construction of μεριμνάω with the accusative.—ED.Verse 34. - Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew only. Luke's conclusion to this section ("Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom") is perhaps more closely connected with the preceding verse, and also grander as dwelling upon God's side; but Matthew's is more practical, dealing with the subject from man's side. Christ says, "Because all needful things shall be added, do not have one anxious thought for the future, even for what is coming on the very next day." Such anxiety shows a want of common sense, for each day brings its own burden of anxiety for itself. Christ here seems to allow anxiety for each day as it comes round. "But," he says, "put off your to-morrow's anxiety until to-morrow." If this be done, the greater part of all our anxiety is put aside at once, and, for the rest of it, the principle will apply to each hour as well as to each day (cf. Bengel). The Christian will ever try to follow the inspired advice of St. Paul (Philippians 4:6) and St. Peter (1 Peter 5:7). The morrow shall take thought for; "be anxious" as supra. The things of itself; for itself (Revised Version); αὑτῆς. The unique construction of the genitive after μεριμνάω led to the insertion of τὰ by the copyists (cf. 1 Corinthians 7:32-34). Sufficient unto the day, etc.; Tyndale, "For the day present hath ever enough of his own trouble." Sufficient (Matthew 10:25, note).



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