Jesus sermon while on the mount continues through chapter 6 and into 7. Here we get into more depth of life and ministry. Jesus begins to deal with what it means to serve and worship Him. Here we begin to see and get an understanding of what religion is, our purpose, and having a relationship with the Father.
From chapter 5 to 6 there is a transition from dealing with personal relationships to how we relate to the world and to God. Jesus criticizes the Pharisees and religious leaders because while they obey the letter of the law, they do so for personal and political gain. It’s not that they care for the poor and orphans. It’s that they desire to show the world that they are obeying the commands of God. Meanwhile Jesus is saying here not that doing those kinds of things is wrong, they’re not. In fact the pharisees are completely correct in giving to the poor and praying and fasting and everything else. The issue is not so much in what they do, rather it’s in how they do it.
Jesus the Christ seems to be saying here that why and how we do what we do may be even more important than our doing it. He tells the disciples that the pharisees have the action and obedience right, which was more than most, but at the same time He was very critical of them for how and why they were doing it:
Give to the poor, but do it in secret so you will have treasure in heaven.
Pray like this, but not in vain repetitions.
Forgive others so it may be forgiven you.
Make sure you fast, but don’t let others see or know you are fasting.
Don’t store up your treasures here on earth. Store them up in heaven where they have real value.
You can’t serve God / YHWH and wealth. You can either serve the maker or the tool.
Then last but certainly not least… Do not Worry! God / YHWH is in control. He provides all things for all. Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will continue and be added. I honestly believe that this is one of the most accepted sins in the church. When we worry, we live by works and not by faith. We say, “We know You say You are in control, but I don’t really believe that. Not fully.” I know that this is something that I struggle with on a daily basis.