The people were waiting for Zechariah (Lk 1:21-1:21)

“Meanwhile,

The people

Were waiting

For Zechariah.

They wondered

At his delay

In the sanctuary.”

 

καὶ ἦν ὁ λαὸς προσδοκῶν τὸν Ζαχαρίαν, καὶ ἐθαύμαζον ἐν τῷ χρονίζειν ἐν τῷ ναῷ αὐτόν.

 

Luke indicated that the people outside the sanctuary were waiting for Zechariah to come out of this sacred place, so that he could give them a blessing to end this prayer service.  Thus, they were getting anxious.  The people were expecting Zechariah (καὶ ἦν ὁ λαὸς προσδοκῶν τὸν Ζαχαρίαν) to come out of the sanctuary.  They wondered (καὶ ἐθαύμαζον) what was delaying him or why he was lingering (ἐν τῷ χρονίζειν) in the sanctuary (ἐν τῷ ναῷ αὐτόν).  They wanted to get on with their day.

Let the Holy Spirit speak (Mk 13:11-13:11)

“When they bring you

To trial

And hand you over,

Do not worry beforehand

About what you are to say!

But say whatever

Is given you

At that time.

It is not you

Who speak,

But the Holy Spirit.”

 

καὶ ὅταν ἄγωσιν ὑμᾶς παραδιδόντες, μὴ προμεριμνᾶτε τί λαλήσητε, ἀλλ’ ὃ ἐὰν δοθῇ ὑμῖν ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ, τοῦτο λαλεῖτε· οὐ γάρ ἐστε ὑμεῖς οἱ λαλοῦντες ἀλλὰ τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον.

 

Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:19, and Luke, chapter 12:11-12.  Mark indicated that Jesus told his disciples not to worry beforehand or be anxious about what to say (μὴ προμεριμνᾶτε τί λαλήσητε), when they were handed over and brought to trial (καὶ ὅταν ἄγωσιν ὑμᾶς παραδιδόντες).  They were to say (τοῦτο λαλεῖτε) whatever would be given to them (ἀλλ’ ὃ ἐὰν δοθῇ ὑμῖν) at that hour in time (ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ).  They would not be speaking (οὐ γὰρ ἐστε ὑμεῖς οἱ λαλοῦντες), but the Holy Spirit would be speaking (ἀλλὰ τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον) for them.  In other words, the Holy Spirit would speak for and through them, so that they did not have to worry or prepare anything beforehand.

 

Holy Spirit will speak through you (Mt 10:19-10:20)

“When they hand you over,

Do not worry

About how you are to speak

Or what you are to say.

What you are to say

Will be given to you

At that time.

It is not you

Who speaks,

But the Spirit

Of your Father

Speaking through you.”

 

ὅταν δὲ παραδῶσιν ὑμᾶς, μὴ μεριμνήσητε πῶς ἢ τί λαλήσητε· δοθήσεται γὰρ ὑμῖν ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ τί λαλήσητε·

οὐ γὰρ ὑμεῖς ἐστε οἱ λαλοῦντες ἀλλὰ τὸ Πνεῦμα τοῦ Πατρὸς ὑμῶν τὸ λαλοῦν ἐν ὑμῖν.

 

Equivalent passages to this can be found in Mark, chapter 13:11, and Luke, chapter 12:11.  Jesus told his disciples not to worry or be anxious (μὴ μεριμνήσητε), when they were handed over (ὅταν δὲ παραδῶσιν ὑμᾶς) to these courts or tribunals.  They should not worry about how or what they should say (πῶς ἢ τί λαλήσητε).  It will be given to them (δοθήσεται γὰρ ὑμῖν) in that hour at that time (ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ) what they should say (τί λαλήσητε).  They would not be speaking (οὐ γὰρ ὑμεῖς ἐστε οἱ λαλοῦντες), but the Spirit of their Father would be speaking through them (ἀλλὰ τὸ Πνεῦμα τοῦ Πατρὸς ὑμῶν τὸ λαλοῦν ἐν ὑμῖν).  In other words, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Father, would speak for them and through them, so that they did not have to worry or prepare anything beforehand.

Do not worry about tomorrow (Mt 6:34-6:34)

“Therefore,

Do not worry

About tomorrow!

Tomorrow

Will bring worries

Of its own.

Today’s trouble

Is enough

For today.”

 

μὴ οὖν μεριμνήσητε εἰς τὴν αὔριον, ἡ γὰρ αὔριον μεριμνήσει ἑαυτῆς· ἀρκετὸν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἡ κακία αὐτῆς.

 

Matthew concluded this chapter, without any parallel in Luke.  Thus, this great philosophical saying of Jesus is unique to Matthew.  Just worry about today, not tomorrow.  This certainly fits in with all the indications about not worrying, because the heavenly Father would take care of things.  However, there is no mention of God or Father here.  Do not be anxious about tomorrow (μὴ οὖν μεριμνήσητε εἰς τὴν αὔριον)!  Tomorrow will be anxious by itself (ἡ γὰρ αὔριον μεριμνήσει ἑαυτῆς).  There are enough problems today (ἀρκετὸν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἡ κακία αὐτῆς.).  Pure and simple, be happy!  Don’t worry!  Tomorrow is another day.

Seek the kingdom first (Mt 6:31-6:33)

“Therefore,

Do not be anxious!

Saying.

‘What will we eat?

What will we drink?

What will we wear?’

The gentiles

Strive for all these things.

Your heavenly Father

Knows

That you need

All these things.

But strive first

For the kingdom!

Strive

For his righteousness!

Then all these things

Will be given

To you as well.”

 

μὴ οὖν μεριμνήσητε λέγοντες· Τί φάγωμεν; ἤ· Τί πίωμεν; ἤ· Τί περιβαλώμεθα;

πάντα γὰρ ταῦτα τὰ ἔθνη ἐπιζητοῦσιν· οἶδεν γὰρ ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος ὅτι χρῄζετε τούτων ἁπάντων.

ζητεῖτε δὲ πρῶτον τὴν βασιλείαν καὶ τὴν δικαιοσύνην αὐτοῦ, καὶ ταῦτα πάντα προστεθήσεται ὑμῖν.

 

Once again, Luke, chapter 12:29-31, has a similar Jesus saying, indicating a common Q source.  The same theme continues.  They should not be worried or anxious (μὴ οὖν μεριμνήσητε λέγοντες).  Why are they anxious about what to eat (Τί φάγωμεν), to drink (ἤ Τί πίωμεν), or to wear (ἤ·Τί περιβαλώμεθα)?  Those are the kind of questions that gentiles ask about (πάντα γὰρ ταῦτα τὰ ἔθνη ἐπιζητοῦσιν).  Matthew continued his attack on the gentile, non-Jewish people.  Their heavenly Father knew about everything that they needed (οἶδεν γὰρ ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος ὅτι χρῄζετε τούτων ἁπάντων).  Thus, they should seek or strive first (ζητεῖτε δὲ πρῶτον) for the kingdom (τὴν βασιλείαν) and his righteousness (καὶ τὴν δικαιοσύνην αὐτοῦ).  Then all these other things would be taken care of for them (καὶ ταῦτα πάντα προστεθήσεται ὑμῖν).  A couple of manuscripts say kingdom of God (βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ), instead of just the kingdom, but that is not in the main manuscripts.  Matthew always used the kingdom of heaven, not the kingdom of God.

Do not worry (Mt 6:25-6:25)

“Therefore,

I tell you!

‘Do not worry

About your life!

Do not worry

About what you shall eat!

Do not worry

About what you shall drink!

Do not worry

About your body!

What you shall put on?

Is not life

More than food?

Is the body

More than clothing?’”

 

Διὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑμῖν, μὴ μεριμνᾶτε τῇ ψυχῇ ὑμῶν τί φάγητε, ἢ τί πίητε μηδὲ τῷ σώματι ὑμῶν τί ἐνδύσησθε· οὐχὶ ἡ ψυχὴ πλεῖόν ἐστιν τῆς τροφῆς καὶ τὸ σῶμα τοῦ ἐνδύματος;

 

Once again, Luke, chapter 12:22-23, has a similar Jesus saying, indicating a common Q source.  Matthew has Jesus begin with his solemn saying (λέγω ὑμῖν) that if they were to serve God only (Διὰ τοῦτο) as just explained, then they did not have to be worried or anxious (μὴ μεριμνᾶτε).  They should not worry about their life (τῇ ψυχῇ ὑμῶν), their food (τί φάγητε) or their drink (ἢ τί πίητε).  They should not worry about their body (μηδὲ τῷ σώματι ὑμῶν) and what to wear (τί ἐνδύσησθε).  Their life was more than food (οὐχὶ ἡ ψυχὴ πλεῖόν ἐστιν τῆς τροφῆς).  Their body was more than clothes (καὶ τὸ σῶμα τοῦ ἐνδύματος).  If they were serving God, and not wealth, they would not have to worry about life, food, drink, or clothes.  Life and the body were more important than these incidentals of life.

The false pursuits (Bar 3:15-3:19)

“Who has found

Her place?

Who has entered

Her storehouses?

Where are the rulers

Of the nations?

Where are those

Who lorded it over

The animals on earth?

Where are those

Who have made sport

Of the birds of the air?

Where are those

Who hoarded up

Silver with gold

In which people trust ?

Where are those

With no end

To their getting?

Where are those

Who schemed

To get silver?

Where are those

Who are anxious?

There is no trace

Of their works.

They have vanished.

They have gone down

To Hades.

Others have arisen

In their place.”

Baruch talks about the vanity and uselessness of various life pursuits as in wisdom literature. What happens to people who store up treasures in a storehouse? Where are all the rulers of the various nations? Where are all the people who felt superior to animals. Where are the sportsmen who tried to shoot the birds in the air with their arrows? What happened to all those who hoarded up and put their trust in silver and gold? Where are all the people who never had enough? Where are those who schemed to get silver? Where are all the people who were so anxious? Baruch’s response is simple and clear. There is no trace of any of these people and their works. They have vanished and gone to hell, Hades, the Greek word for Sheol, the shadowy underworld that we often call hell. However, there are always others to take their place to do the same thing over and over again.