Main point summary
Worry about the basic necessities in life seems like a natural thing. But Jesus assures us that the Father will provide our "daily bread." Therefore, we have no cause to have anxieties about our day-to-day needs.
e “Therefore I tell you, f do not be anxious about your life , what you will eat or what you will drink,
nor about your body , what you will put on.
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (don't worry because life is more than food & clothing.)
g Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
h ( yet ) Are you not of more value than they?
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his i span of life? 1
And why are you anxious about clothing?
( If something as simple as flowers are taken care of by God ) Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, j even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, (then) will he not much more clothe you, k O you of little faith?
Therefore do not be anxious , saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
For l the Gentiles seek after all these things, and m your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
Bu t n seek first o the kingdom of God and his righteousness, p and all these things will be added to you.
q “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.
Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Notes 25a & 34a are synonymous. I considered an Idea/Explanation relationship but felt that the inference was a better choice. 28a-30 are labeled as a conditional. If the passage had been broken into separate verbal ideas there would have been two conditional. I chose a conditional for the this section, tied together by a concessive. 34a can be considered as the main proposition, but the entire inference from v. 31 down is the main point.
The passage begins and ends with the bookends of the command, "Do not be anxious." With this phrase occurring three times and the word itself appearing five times it is easily spotted as the the theme of these nine verses. The word 'anxious' means to brood or apprehension because of fear of misfortune (Louw-Nida). The command is about the basic needs of life, which are summed up with food & drink and clothing. Indeed, these were the care of every person then, as well as now. Yet Jesus commands us not to worry about even these basic things. The passage fits neatly together with Jesus using two examples from nature: 1. Birds – the first example is taken from the creatures who are solely dependent upon God for their sustenance. This comes out in the example as Jesus points to the fact that they do no sow seed for food nor harvest seed at the harvest time. They do not store their food up as was customary in that time. Then comes the concessive statement, "yet your Heavenly Father feeds them." The thrust of the illustration is not here, however, but in the following statement in 26b. Jesus tells them that they are much more valuable than mere birds. It seems to be the typical Jewish teaching of arguing from the least to the greatest. It can be illustrated by the following syllogism: (A) Men are more valuable than birds (B) God feeds the birds Therefore (C) God will feed me The conclusion cannot be mistaken. And this is precisely the point that Jesus was trying to make. 2. Flowers – Clothing was just as essential as food. Without the proper clothing one would be exposed tot the elements, become ill, and possibly die. There were was no modern medicine for cure. The flowers that Jesus speaks of in this second illustration are those that are the wild flowers. Typically, women would use them as fuel for their ovens to bake bread or other goods. This fits well with the context as Jesus demonstrates this very thing with clothing. To be sure, wild flowers were beautiful and Jesus states that not even Solomon, Israels' richest and wisest king, never had clothes as adorned as these flowers. And if the flowers are so temporary, here today, gone tomorrow, and to be used for something as fuel for the oven, then He will also shield the body from nakedness. His final statement before giving the application is a rebuke to those who would worry. "O, you of little faith." It is not certain if Jesus was talking to His disciples or simply speaking in general. Commentaries are split on it. I lean towards the position that Jesus' statement is directed at those who would worry about these simple things. Jesus' final thought is an inference drawn from the two illustration from nature: birds do not worry about what they will eat and fields do not worry about how they will be covered. Each day brings its new challenges and other things will need our attention rather than something that is basic. Jesus' Application He beings with an inference and following it up with a ground statement. God's people are not to worry because these are the things that Gentiles (unregenerate) people worry about. This statement is supported by the fact that God already knows that the basics in life are needed. God's people are to be chiefly concerned about righteousness and the things of God first. The word 'first' does not necessarily mean ordinal (i.e., "I will have my devotions, then I will worry about food and clothing") but seems to indicate priority ; that is, "the things of God are more important than even food and clothing and God will provide for me my basic things. I must be more concerned about my standing with God."