Revelations from the Word

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Seek first the Kingdom of God

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life [psuche, soul], what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on... Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add [prostithemi] one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, ... Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith [oligopistos]? Therefore do not worry, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear? For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom [basileia] of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added [prostithemi] to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow..." (Matthew 6:25-34).

Worry is the main subject of this passage, the word 'worry' occurs six times. Jesus says that worry is appropriate for pagans for they fix their attention on the needs of their body and soul, and how they can meet their needs. But for us who belong to Him, Jesus wants something else, for He knows how much worry impoverishes faith. He even speaks of little faith [oligopistos], which stems from:

  • worry (Matthew 6:30),

  • fear (Matthew 8:26),

  • doubt (Matthew 14:31),

  • and reasoning (Matthew 16:8).

In a parallel passage in Luke Jesus says, "Do not fear, little flock, for your Father has found it good to give you the Kingdom" (Luke 12:32). Our Heavenly Father has given us His Kingdom, that is why we must not behave like pagans. We must consider things from the point of view of the Kingdom and not from a human point of view. Our faith is based on what is heavenly and can only be enriched by seeking things from on high (Colossians 3:2). It is in this way we will build up an incorruptible treasure from which our heart will draw (Luke 12:33-34).

The Greek word basileia means royalty, His Majesty the King, the Kingdom, as territory submitted to the authority of a king. This verse might have been translated by "Seek first the authority of the King (God the Father) and His righteousness" for this is what Jesus did to carry out the will of His Father. The fact that we seek to know our Heavenly Father, leads us to fix our attention on Him and to turn away from our worries, our fears, our doubts and our reasonings. Then we see His goodness worked out, for he knows all our needs. And while we spend time with Him, not only does our Father provide for our needs, but literally He gives more addition [prostithemi] so that our cup overflows, in that way filling our treasure chamber (Matthew 6:6).