- That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto
- thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father,
- which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
The World English Bible translates the passage as:
- So that you are not seen by men to be fasting,
- but by your Father who is in secret, and your
- Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.
For a collection of other versions see BibRef Matthew 6:18
The previous verse stated that, unlike the hypocrites, Jesus followers should present a clean and normal appearance even when fasting. This verse closely parallels Matthew 6:4 and Matthew 6:6, and like them the message is that even if one's piety is kept secret from those around you, that God will still know about it and reward you. Davies and Allison note that William Law commented on this verse. Law noted that it is impossible to keep ones fasting completely secret, disguising such an activity from one's family and friends is almost impossible. Law thus reads this verse as calling for keeping the notion private from general onlookers.
- Davies, W.D. and Dale C. Allison, Jr. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew. Edinburgh : T. & T. Clark, 1988-1997. pg 97
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