Verses 25-29

Argument #1– VERSE 2

“Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?”
In the beginning of the verse Jesus charged His disciples to take no thought–that is, not to be anxious–about the supply of their wants. God will take care of these.
1.         He has given life, a far greater blessing than meat; h
2.         He has created the body, of far more consequence than raiment.
            a.        Shall not He Who has conferred the greater blessing, be willing to confer the less?         
            b.        Shall not He Who has f
ormed the body and made such a display of His power and goodness as to form the body, and breathe into it the breath of life,
                      will surely with that blessing, confer the smaller favor of providing that that body should be clothed, and that life preserved.

“therefore take no thought”
Literally:  “Because of this, do not be anxious.”– And if you serve God, you need be careful for nothing.  Beware of worldly cares; for these are as inconsistent with the true service of God as worldly desires.

THEREFORE:  (Grk.–dia touto)–Literally, “because of this; on this account,” i.e., since you may not serve mammon, then have unshaken confidence in God.

           THOUGHT:  (Grk.–merimnate)–That is, do not be anxiously careful (worriful). Beware of worldly cares; for these are as inconsistent with the true service of God as worldly desires.

            “take no thought for your life”
            Literally: “Do not be anxious for your life”–For what will support your life.

Care or anxiety distracts and divides. The old English word “thought” —meant anxiety or worry as Shakespeare says: “The native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought.”

FOR YOUR LIFE: (Grk.–têi psuchêi)–Here psuchêi stands for the life principle common to man and beast, which is embodied in the  sôma  (the body)

The psuchêi (life) needs food, the sôma (body) needs clothing. In the Synoptic Gospels psuchêi occurs in three senses: either as the life principle in the body as it id here and which man may kill (Mark 3:4), or as the seat of the thoughts and emotions (Matt. 22:37; Luke 1:46; cf. John 12:27; 13:21), or as something higher that makes up the real self (Matt. 10:28; 16:26). In Matt. 16:25; Luke 9:25).

“is not the life more than meat?”
Literally:  “Is not the soul more than food?” —And if God gives the greater gift, will He deny the smaller? (See Luke 12:22.)  The argument is: God gave the life, and it is higher than food.  If He gave life, then He will see that it is sustained, if you trust in Him.

MORE:  (Grk.–pleion)–Meaning, “more valuable than.”

MEAT(Grk.–trophês)–This word here means food in general, as it does commonly in the Bible. We confine it now to animal food, or the food of animals.

When the King James Version of the Bible was translated, trophês denoted all kinds of food, and is so used in the old English writers. It is one of the words which has changed its meaning since this translation of the Bible was made.

“the body than raiment”
“The body {than} the clothing.”  God made the bodysand He will see that it is clothed.  He Who has displayed so great goodness as to form the body, and breathe into it the breath of life, will surely follow up the blessing, and confer the smaller favor of providing that that body should be clothed, and that life preserved.

Argument #2–VERSES 26-27:  
The second argument for confidence in the providence of God is derived from a beautiful reference to the fowls of the air.  Jesus uses the birds of the air to illustrate God’s provision for earthly needs.  They have no reason for worry, they do not try to pile up goods for future needs (either real or imaginative), yet they continue to eat.

“Behold the fowls of the air:  for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heaven Father feedeth them.  Are ye not much better than they?

            “Behold the fowls of the air.”
            Literally:  “Look at the brds of the heaven.” —They have no anxiety about the supply of   their needs.

            They do not sow or reap, and in innumerable flocks they fill the air and. they fill the grove with music, and meet the coming light of the morning with their songs, and pour their notes on the zephyrs of the evening, unanxious about the supply of their wants; yet how few die with hunger! How regularly are they fed from the hand of God! How He ministers to their unnumbered wants. He sees their young open wide their mouths, and seek their food at His hand, and how cheerfully and regularly are their necessities supplied!
          Jesus now tells these Jews the second reason why they should not be anxiously concerned about the future, is the example of the smaller animals, which the providence of God feeds without their own labor; though He be not their Father.  We never knew an earthly father take care of his fowls, and neglect his children; and shall we fear this from our heavenly Father?  GOD FORBID!
          That man is utterly unworthy to have God for his Father who depends less upon His goodness, wisdom, and power, than upon a crop of corn which may be spoiled either in the field or in the barn.  If our great Creator has made us capable of knowing, loving, and enjoying Himself eternally, what may we not expect from Him, after so great a gift?

“they sow not, neither do they reap”
Literally:  “That they do not sow, nor do {they} gather into barns”–Jesus tells these Jews that God feeds the birds without their sowing their food or harvesting  it.  Yet God feeds them.

            “nor gather into barns”
            Literally:  “nor do {they} gather into barns”–They do not even need to store away their food for later on use.

            “Are ye not much better than they?”
            Literally:  “Do you not rather surpass them?”--Are you not nobler in yourselves and dearer to God than birds?

            Jesus’ entire argument is going from the greater to the less; but how rich in detail! The brute creation–void of reason–are incapable of sowing, reaping, and storing: yet your heavenly Father does not allow themto become helpless and perish; rather, He sustains them without any of those processes. Then will He for you His own children not use all the means which reason dictates for procuring the things needful for your bodies to keep you from starving?
            You are of more consequence than they are; and shall God feed them in such numbers, and allow you to be in dire need?  It cannot be.  To place your confidence in that Universal Parent Who feeds all the fowls of the air, and fear not that he will also supply your wants.
            There is a saying among the rabbis almost similar to this, “Hast thou ever seen a beast or a fowl that had a workshop?” Yet they are fed without labor and without anxiety.  They were created for the service of man, and man was created that he might serve his Creator. Rabbi Simeon makes an observation regarding God and His providing:

“I have never seen a stag as a dryer of figs, or a lion as a porter, or a fox as a merchant, yet they are all nourished without worry.  If they, who are created to serve me, as nourished without worry, how much more ought I, who am created to serve my Maake, to be nourished without worry; but I have corrupted my ways, and so I have impaired my substance.”

Some observation regarding WORRY and the Christian, as observed by William Barclay:
Worry is needless, useless and even actively injurious

         It is even worse than useless, it can even be physically injurious.  Two typical diseases of modern life are:
         a. The stomach ulcer, and
         b. The coronary thromboses.-In both cases they are the result of worry.
2.      Worry is blind.  
         It refuses to learn the lesson of nature.  Jesus bids us to look at the birds.
3.      Worry is essentially sacrilegious–the sin of calling God a liar.
         It is not caused by external circumstances.  In the same circumstance one man can be serene, and anoth man can be worried to death.

 Argument #3– VERSE 27:  

“Which of you by taking though can add one cubit into his stature?

            “can add one cubit unto his stature”
            Literally:  “Is able to add one cubit onto his stature.”  The third argument is taken from their physical
weakness and helplessness.

With all your care you cannot increase your stature a single cubit. God has ordered your height. Beyond His appointment your powers are of no avail, and you can do nothing. If you are ever so careful, can any of you even add a moment to your own life thereby?  This seems to be far the most easy and natural sense of the words.

            CUBIT:  (Grk.–pêchus)–This denotes the forearm, or that part between the tip of the middle finger and the elbow; hence, a measure of length of about 17 or 18 inches long.  When Noah came off the Ark, only one cubit measurement existed—the one he had used to construct the Ark. Unfortunately, the exact length of this cubit is unknown.

unto his stature
Literally:  onto his statureThe
Greek word (hêlikian), is used either of “stature” (height) or length of life (i.e., age).

Either makes good sense here, though probably “stature” suits the context best. Certainly anxiety will not help either kind of growth, but rather hinder by auto-intoxication if nothing more. The idea is: “What is the use of anxiety? Who, by his anxiety, can add anything to life's journey?” If it is proper to speak of “length of life,” it is also appropriate to speaking of adding a cubit to its length.

Argument #4–VERSES 28-30:  

VERSE 28:  

“And why take ye thought for raiment?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they sin:

“why take ye thought for raiment?”
Literally:  “And concerning clothing, why are you anxious?”–Or, “why are you anxiously worried about what you are to wear?”

The herbs and flowers of the field have their being, nourishment, exquisite flavors, and beautiful hues from God Himself.  They are not only without anxious care, but also without any kind of care or thought.  Your being does not depend on your anxious concern.  It comes as truly from the beneficence and continual superintendence of eternal God, as does that of the flowers of the field.  Were you brought into such a situation, as to be as utterly incapable of contributing to your own preservation and support as the lilies of the field are to theirs, your heavenly Father could augment your substance, and preserve your being, when for his glory and your own advantage.

           CONSIDER: (Grk.–katamathete)–Literally:  “diligently consider this,” i.e., lay it earnestly to heart, and let your confidence be unshaken in the God of infinite bounty and love.

“The lilies of the field”–While the lilies do not toil or spin, they do their work, drawing up sustenance from the earth, and drink in the dew, rain and sunbeams.  Jesus is telling these Jews that they are to do their appointed work—whether it be for salt, light, etc. If they do this trusting in God, He will supply all their needs in the coming kingdom.

LILIES:  (Grk.–krina)–This probably includes other wild flowers besides lilies, blossoms like anemones, poppies, gladioli, irises, etc.

“And yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

            “Even Solomon in all his glory”
            Literally:  “not even Solomon in all his glory.”  To the Jew, the court of Solomon was the highest representation of human glory.

           The magnificence of the court is not only celebrated in Jewish writings, but in all Oriental literature, and it is still proverbial throughout the East. Yet he was never arrayed with the taste and beauty of “one of these.” It is probable that both birds and lilies were in sight from where Jesus was sitting.
           The common dress of eastern kings was purple; but also they sometimes wore white robes of expensive Egyptian cotton linen (see Esther 8:15; Dan. 7:9). It is to this that Jesus is referring.  He is telling them that Solomon, the richest and most magnificent king of Israel, was not clothed in a robe of so pure a white as the lily of the valley. See notes on verse 19 regarding rich garments.

            “was not arrayed like one of these”
            Literally:  “was clothed as one of these.”  Not in garments of so pure a white.

Some suppose that as the robes of state worn by the eastern kings were usually white, as were those of the nobles among the Jews, that therefore the lily was chosen for the comparison.