We now come to the third section of the King’s manifesto. In the first section we studied the Beatitudes, and saw what a believer in Christ is. In the second section we saw how the believer is to manifest the kingdom principles. Now, in the third section we see:
1) The right and wrong way to give alms and practice charitable deeds (Matthew 6:1-4).
2) The right and wrong way to pray (Matthew 6:5-15).
3) The right and wrong way to fast (Matthew 6:16-18).
4) The right and wrong place to lay up treasures (Matthew 6:19-21).
5) The right and wrong vision (Matthew 6:22, 23).
6) The right and wrong master (Matthew 6:24).
7) The right and wrong way to think (Matthew 6:25-34).
8) The right and wrong way to judge (Matthew 7:1-6).
42-1 A Threefold Hypocrite
The Jew had three ways to practice righteousness and demonstrate the depth of his religious commitment: giving alms and doing charitable deeds, prayer, and fasting. Hypocrites did these right things in the wrong way, with wrong motives. Jesus exposed their religious hypocrisy:
1) “Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet” (v. 2), do not “blow your horn” as the hypocrites do. A hypocrite is a pretender, and actor; he pretends to be what he is not, or to have a faith that he does not have. He has a form of godliness, but it is empty inside (2 Timothy 3:5). Some of the scribes, Pharisees, and other Jews gave alms as if for the glory of God, while at the same time making sure that people knew of their generosity. The main Christian motive for giving is the glory of God, “and your father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly” (v. 4). Jesus is our great example – He gave all of His riches, making Himself poor, that all believers might be rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).
2) “When you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites” (vv. 5-8). Here again He exposes the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, scribes, and rabbis. However, many of us are just as guilty before God, reading these verses without coming under conviction for sins committed during the very act of prayer. When we pray in public, is it to be heard or seen by other people? Or do we say the same prayer over and over in order to be heard? Or do we think we have to pray a lengthy prayer to reach God? If so, then we are hypocrites too. Jesus said, “Therefore do not be like them [the hypocrites]” (v. 8).
3) “In this manner, therefore, pray (vv. 9-13). This model prayer tells us to pray directly to our heavenly Father, recognizing that we are in the presence of eternal, holy deity. In this prayer we are to seek His kingdom and His perfect will for our lives, declare our physical needs, forgive all who have wronged us, and pray for strength to endure temptation (for we will be tempted). This prayer has often been called the “prayer perfect.”
4) “When you fast, do not be like the hypocrites” (vv. 16-18). In giving alms we make contact with people; in prayer we make contact with God; in fasting we make contact with self. Fasting is both physically and spiritually beneficial. When the disciples failed to heal a demon-possessed, epileptic boy, they brought him to Jesus and Jesus healed him. Then they asked, “Why could we not cast it [the demon] out?” Jesus answered, “Because of your unbelief’ (Matthew 17:14-21). They failed first in prayer and fasting before they failed to heal the epileptic.
Fasting is a form of self-denial. It is time we talked less about giving, praying, and fasting, and practiced them more. When you fast, don’t be like the Pharisees, who, when they fasted, appeared in public with sad faces, seeking he admiration of men. Twice a week they fasted, but their only reward was the empty praise of men. Jesus observed, “Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward” (v. 16). There will be no reward for them at the judgment Of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10), where all our works will be judged (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). Therefore, we should not be concerned with what people say or think about our giving, praying, or fasting.
42-2 Where Is Your Heart?
“For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also” (v. 21). Here the King’s subjects are asked to choose between earthly and eternal treasures. Someone once said, “What I hoard, I lose; but what I give, I keep.” We cannot take our earthly treasures with us, but we can send them on ahead by sharing with others and supporting kingdom work. If your riches are here on earth, your heart will be bound to this world system. If your riches are in heaven, you will seek those things which are above and use the things of this world to the glory of God (Colossians 3:1, 2).
42-3 Do You Have a Good or Evil Eye
(Matthew 6:22, 23)
The good eye looks for the will of God, that the body may be filled with the presence of God, who is light; for “in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). The good eye places greatest value on things that cannot pass away, “for the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). For this reason the apostle Paul said, “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things” (Philippians 3:3-9).
The evil eye looks for the things of this age, this world system, where Satan is god (2 Corinthians 4:4). What are our real priorities? Are we Christians merely in name, who have “sold out,” having an evil eye, seeing only the passing pleasures and possessions of this life, which soon fly away (1 John 2:15-17)? Or have we truly seen the Master, who invites us to receive a heavenly possession “that does not fade away” (1 Peter 1:4).
42-4 Who Is Your Master?
You can serve either a good or a bad master, but not both. “You cannot serve God and mammon,” i.e., money, riches (v. 24). If God is your Master, you will deny yourself and take up your cross and follow Him (Mark 8:34-38). If wealth is your master, it will fail you in this life and in eternal life to come (Luke 16:19-3 1).
42-5 A Good or Bad Sphere
Faith is the good sphere, and worry is the bad. You must choose. You cannot live in both at the same time. To make the right choice, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,” i.e., the righteousness of Christ (v. 33). When you become a part of His kingdom, by faith in Christ, and are robed in His righteousness, God will supply all your material needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
42-6 Judge Not
In this last chapter of the manifesto of the King, He opens with a negative command, “Judge not,” i.e., condemn not (v. 1). Keep in mind that God’s negative commands always yield positive results.
1) If we judge (condemn) another believer, we will be condemning ourselves.
2) We cannot correctly judge another, because our knowledge of the facts is limited.
3) We are not spiritually qualified to judge another.
4) To sit in judgment on another believer is to usurp “the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10). Only He has the right to judge. Even “the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22).
To sit in judgment of a brother or sister in Christ demonstrates a spirit of bitterness and lack of love. But “judge not” does not mean that we are not to distinguish between good and evil. Neither are we to excuse or condone sin. To “judge not” means that we are not to assume the role of a judge and magnify the speck in the eye of another Christian. When we see sin in the life of another believer, then, how are we to cope with it?
1) Practice self-judgment—take a critical view of your own life-style for the purpose of improving yourself and understanding others (1 Corinthians 11:31, 32).
2) Practice the Golden Rule. “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).
Master Outline 42 – Making Kingdom Choices
 What eight (8) decisions does Kingdom Choices involve?
 What four (4) ways did Jesus have to practice righteousness and demonstrate his religious commitment?
 Hypocrites do the _____________________ things in the ____________________ way, with
 How does this lesson describe a hypocrite?
 What should be the Christian’s motive for giving?
 Explain the meaning of “When you pray you shall not be like the hypocrites?”
 Do we think we have to pray a lengthy prayer to reach God?
 What does the model prayer teach us?
 What are the five (5) major points of Lord’s Prayer?
 In giving alms we make contact with ____________________; in prayer we make contact
with ______________________; in fasting we make contact with _____________________.
 Name the two (2) benefits of fasting.
 What did the disciples fail in first when they couldn’t cast the demon out of the epileptic boy?
 Fasting is a form of ________________________ ___________________________.
 In what three (3) areas should we not be concerned with what prophecy?
 When Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there will be your heart also,” what was He asking His subjects to choose between?
 Explain, “What I hoard I lose, but what I give I keep.”
 What does a good eye look for?
 What does the good eye place value on?
 The evil eye focuses on what?
 Explain the statement, “You can serve either a good or bad master.”
 Faith is in the ____________________ sphere, and ___________________ is the bad.
 Can you walk in both spheres at the same time? YES or NO. Explain.
 What four (4) principles are involved when we judge someone?
 When we sit in judgment on a Christian Brother or sister, what does it demonstrate? List two (2) items.
 When we see sin in another believer’s life, how are we to deal with it? (List (2) ways.)