3. Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

Matthew 6:27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? (NKJV, CSB) –or–
which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (ESV, NET)

Read: Matthew 6:27-34; Luke 12:25-26


Matthew account – same hillside near Capernaum (Luke 7:1), near beginning of formal ministry

continuing the first formal “Bible School class” for the Disciples – Jesus the teacher (Matt. 5:2), they the students (Luk. 6:20)

Luke account – “innumerable multitude… trampled one another” (Luke 12:1) near end of formal ministry

as before, includes his disciples… first ring of people surrounding Jesus, then everyone else trying to get close, even ask questions

Person(s) being questioned:

disciples in both cases – Jesus focus more intent on disciples in Matthew, divided between them and multitude in Luke

teaching addressed to worry / anxiety particularly directed to disciples in Luke – as teaching session continued, not always clear who Jesus was primarily addressing… see Luke 12:41; (v.42-53 sound almost like Jesus’ mind is elsewhere, talking to no one in particular)

Question behind the question:

Matthew –

why are you wasting what God has given you in trust?

why are you holding back what he expects you to use?

Luke –

by now, a review question – know answer to first question, second more in form of: since you understand this, why are you still thinking wrongly about some things?

why are you going back to old habits?

Expected response:

Matthew –

to original question – um, none of us! duh!

to question behind – not willing to take that kind of risk

Luke –

to original question – yes, I know, exasperated tone, frustrated with self

to question behind – try not to, can’t help it sometimes, happens before I realize it, shouldn’t ought to do it

Jesus’ point:

duh, which of the things you worry about has your worry changed?

people usually worry about things outside their control or even influence

our priorities and God’s out of sync

God is in control of all things including you / your circumstances / your number of days

Modern Application:

you can’t put more on the line than God can supply or re-supply

two issues, spiritual and practical

worry is really lack of trust

worry causes person to give less than 100%


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