Matthew 6:30

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Matthew 6:30 is the thirtieth verse of the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament and is part of the Sermon on the Mount. This verse continues the discussion of worry about material provisions.

In the King James Version of the Bible the text reads:

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field,
which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven,
shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

The World English Bible translates the passage as:

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which
today exists, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven,
won’t he much more clothe you, you of little faith?

For a collection of other versions see BibRef Matthew 6:30

Jesus has been discussing the lilies in the field, and how even these simple flowers are more finely clothed than Solomon. In this verse he states that if God clothes the lowly flowers so grandly, he will certainly ensure that his human followers are properly clad. This is very similar to Matthew 6:26, with lilies and clothes in place of birds and food.

The grass of the field of this verse is presumed to be the lilies of Matthew 6:27, implying that Jesus was speaking of the abundant wild flowers that will fill local fields. Wood has always been in short supply in Palestine and the burning of grasses was an important source of fuel. Barclay states that they were typically thrown into the clay ovens of the region when it was necessary to rapidly increase the heat. These ovens would be used to bake the bread the populace subsided on.[1]

There are two lessons generally read into this verse. The first is that beauty and the physical are fleeting, what is splendid one day can be thrown into the fire the next. This perhaps links with Matthew 6:20, where Jesus contrasts the impermanence of physical things with the eternal nature of the spiritual. Harrington links this verse to Isaiah 40:6-8, which also discussed the fleeting nature of grass and flowers.[2] Secondly it shows how unimportant these flowers are. They are commonly sacrificed en masse for the simple task of baking bread, yet God provides them with beautiful raiments. If God provides for such lowly flowers, he would surely do so for the humans made in his image.[3]

The Gospel of Thomas contains a version of this verse, but it comes to a very different conclusion, arguing that clothing is useless and should be dispensed with.[4]

"O ye of little faith" appears several times in the New Testament. It is one of Jesus' strongest admonitions of his disciples.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Barclay, William. The Gospel of Matthew: Volume 1 Chapters 1-10. Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press, 1975.
  2. ^ Harrington, Daniel J. The Gospel of Matthew. Liturgical Press, 1991 pg. 102
  3. ^ Fowler, Harold. The Gospel of Matthew: Volume One. Joplin: College Press, 1968
  4. ^ France, R.T.. The Gospel of Matthew. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2007 pg. 269


Preceded by
Matthew 6:29
Gospel of Matthew
Chapter 6
Succeeded by
Matthew 6:31