Therefore I say to you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body…
The evil dealt with in this passage is "undue secular anxiety." "Think of the uncertainty of almost everything we have - life, health, friendship, domestic relationships and affections, riches, commerce. Life has many sad surprises and disappointments. Our own day is full of care." Where is abundant cause for anxiety. But Christ reminds us of a truth which should put our earthly care into strict limitations. We have a Father who is actually and effectively concerned in securing the constant and the highest well-being of his children. The children ought to have proper children's anxieties, but they should not take upon them cares which belong to their Father, who "knoweth what they have need of before they ask him."
I. THE EARTHLINESS OF THE UNEARTHLY MAN. Think of the Christian as the "unearthly man," and then see that his unearthliness ought not to be all-absorbing. It should be placed under wise limitations. He is in the body. He stands in relations. He has duties and responsibilities. It is no true spirituality to escape from common earthly responsibilities into monasteries, nunneries, and hermit-cells. "The Son of man came eating and drinking." Human interests were sought by him, and human cares were borne by him. A saint must never forget that he is husband, or father, or brother, or friend, or citizen. Earthly anxiety is God's present burden for his saints; and it has to be cheerfully taken up and borne.
II. THE UNEARTHLINESS OF THE EARTHLY MAN. This is turning the figure round, in order to warn the spiritual man how very absorbing earthly care may become, and to advise him that his supreme anxiety should be soul-culture. "Taking thought" is but an older form of our idea of "worrying," which is "anxiety overdone." "What the Lord bids us guard against is conjectural brooding over the possible necessities of the future, and our possible lack of the resources required for their supply." The spiritual man should be "using the world as not abusing it." In safe limitations keeping both earthly and unearthly. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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?
WEB: Therefore, I tell you, don't be anxious for your life: what you will eat, or what you will drink; nor yet for your body, what you will wear. Isn't life more than food, and the body more than clothing?