This week, we’re taking a break from the Matthew series to discuss trust and generosity. But though our text does not follow the next passage in Matthew, this detour isn’t really a break. All the gospel—all of Jesus’ words, teachings, and behavior throughout Matthew—has exhorted us to trust God and give our lives fully to the Kingdom. This has been the point from beginning to end.
Let’s look at just a few:
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. (Matthew 4:18-20)
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? (Matthew 5:43-46)
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…. No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? (Matthew 6:19-21, 24-25)
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)
For the sake of time, I’ll stop after just this brief survey of two chapters—but we could go on and on. Following Jesus simply requires all of us. And, amazingly, we receive in Jesus all of God.
Today we often talk about trusting God as though faith were a matter of closing our eyes and believing really hard—like a child might do about fairies or wishes. But the biblical concept of faith and trust is nothing like this.
Instead, the biblical idea of faith is more like a wedding vow. Though there is (hopefully) a component of intellectual belief in and an emotional connection to the other person, primarily, your trust is an oh-so-tangible realignment of your entire life toward the life you will build together. You bet everything you have and are and will be on this union.
That’s what trusting God is, too. Not just closing our eyes and believing really hard that He exists but realigning our entire selves around Him.
Questions for reflection and discussion: How do you think of trust and faith? How does intellectual belief fall short of what God asks for? How has your relationship with God realigned your entire life?
Church Bible Reading Plan: 2 Samuel 6; 1 Corinthians 16