Now what are those three teachings? The first is found in verse 24, which is, properly speaking, the conclusion to Christ’s words about money. In that section of the Sermon Jesus taught that a love of money was harmful because it is impossible for a person to serve God and money at the same time. Now He says that for the same reason His followers are not to be anxious about some future happening or provision.
I think we can see this truth in two ways. First, we can remember the first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, which asks, “What is the chief end of man?” The answer given is, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.” If that is an accurate description of our Christian service, then it is evident that we cannot be serving God by glorifying Him if we are constantly filled with doubt about His ability to take care of us.
The other way we can understand Christ’s first point is by the old cliché, “If you’re worrying, you’re not trusting; and if you’re trusting, you’re not worrying.” That is literally true, and it is a proper restatement of Christ’s first statement that you cannot serve God and worry. Kenneth Wuest, in his Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, has written, “God commands us to ‘Stop perpetually worrying about even one thing.’ We commit sin when we worry. We do not trust God when we worry. We do not receive answers to prayer when we worry, because we are not trusting.”1
The second reason that we are not to worry (verses 26-30) is not so much a logical one, as is the first, but one that involves knowledge. It is a reminder of a fact that every Christian should know, the fact that God is both able and willing to care for those who trust Him. Jesus said, “Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? …And why are ye anxious for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” (vv. 26, 28-30).
Do you see the importance of these verses? It is not merely that we are commanded not to worry. We are also given reasons. From these verses, we are to know that the command not to worry is based upon the demonstrable ability of God to take care of us.
1Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1966), vol. 4, 43.