Matthew 6: 1-15

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Matthew 6: 1-15

Introduction:

At one point of another we have all said or done things and then acted out the opposite, thus being a hypocrite. Hypocrisy is one of the underlying themes found in Matthew 6: 1-15. The Gospel of Matthew is a relatively easy passage to read, and according to Hauer and Young, “The Gospel of Matthew is nearly as overt as the Gospel of Mark is hidden.”[1] Matthew is organized into a fivefold pattern and two parts of the fivefold passage, “The higher Righteousness” (Mt. 3-7) and “The true Discipleship” (Mt. 8-10) will be looking into in great detail regarding Matthews Gospel. Throughout his Gospel, according to Hauer and Young, “Matthew is proclaiming the authority of Jesus as teacher and preacher, but also with giving the content of his teaching.”[2] In contrast, Matthew shows the conflict between the Jesus Jews and the Jews who are following the Rabbinic leadership. While studying a passage from the Bible, it is beneficial for the reader to have a historical understanding of the author in order to fully understand the text. Studying the world behind the text (historically) world of the text (literary) and the world in front of the text (hermeneutics) gives the reader a clearer understanding of the text and allows them to apply underlying themes to a current issue. The Gospel of Matthew highlights the Jewish origin and identity of Jesus and his first followers more than any other piece of early Christian literature. The Gospel of Matthew is proposed to have been written in the last quarter of the first century, in 85-105 AD. This Gospel entails themes about hypocrisy, prayer, and almsgiving. These themes can be applied to the contemporary issue of the Oregon Food Bank being a foundation for giving food to the poor, thus portraying almsgiving and prayer for those less fortunate.

Matthew 6 (1-15)

1"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.2"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 5"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.9"This, then, is how you should pray: " 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.[3]

World Behind the Text:

During the past two centuries, critical study of the New Testament gospels has yielded a wealth of insights on their origin and development. There are four canonical Gospels; Mark, Matthew, Luke and John. In Matthew, Jesus is God’s anointed, or messiah, and according to Coogan, “Matthew is the one who best envisions and interprets God’s plan or God’s people.”[4] Critical researchers of these four authors have noticed two intriguing features about...
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