This past Sunday, we jumped back into our series on the Sermon on the Mount. As we discussed in the spring, these passages are always challenging. In this week’s passage, Jesus challenges our intentions in giving and praying. The religious leaders in the first century were notorious for drawing attention to their giving and praying. Jesus instructs his follows to take a different approach.
I hope you will join us on Sunday as we explore this passage together. I have included it below in the NTE version. Let me encourage you to take a few minutes to read it as you prepare for worship on Sunday.
(Matthew 6:1-6 NTE) When you are practising your piety, mind you don’t do it with an eye on the audience! Otherwise, you won’t have any reward from your father in heaven. So when you give money to the poor, don’t sound a trumpet in front of you. That’s what people do when they’re just play-acting, in the synagogues and the streets. They do it so that people will be impressed at them. I’m telling you the truth: they’ve received their reward in full. No: when you give money, don’t let your left hand have any idea what your right hand is up to. That way, your giving will be in secret. And your father, who sees in secret, will repay you. When you pray, you mustn’t be like the play-actors. They love to pray standing in the synagogues and on street corners, so that people will notice them. I’m telling you the truth: they have received their reward in full. No: when you pray, go into your own room, shut the door, and pray to your father who is there in secret. And your father, who sees in secret, will repay you.