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Matthew 6 New Testament for Everyone (NTE)

Piety in Secret

‘When you are practising your piety, mind you don’t do it with an eye on the audience! Otherwise, you won’t have any reward from your father in heaven.

‘So when you give money to the poor, don’t sound a trumpet in front of you. That’s what people do when they’re just play-acting, in the synagogues and the streets. They do it so that people will be impressed at them. I’m telling you the truth: they’ve received their reward in full. No: when you give money, don’t let your left hand have any idea what your right hand is up to. That way, your giving will be in secret. And your father, who sees in secret, will repay you.

‘When you pray, you mustn’t be like the play-actors. They love to pray standing in the synagogues and on street corners, so that people will notice them. I’m telling you the truth: they have received their reward in full. No: when you pray, go into your own room, shut the door, and pray to your father who is there in secret. And your father, who sees in secret, will repay you.’

The Lord’s Prayer

‘When you pray, don’t pile up a jumbled heap of words! That’s what the Gentiles do. They reckon that the more they say, the more likely they are to be heard. So don’t be like them. You see, your father knows what you need before you ask him.

‘So this is how you should pray:

Our father in heaven,
may your name be honoured
10 may your kingdom come
may your will be done
as in heaven, so on earth.
11 Give us today the bread we need now;
12 and forgive us the things we owe,
as we too have forgiven what was owed to us.
13 Don’t bring us into the great trial,
but rescue us from evil.

14 ‘Yes: if you forgive people the wrong they have done, your heavenly father will forgive you as well. 15 But if you don’t forgive people, neither will your heavenly father forgive you what you have done wrong.’

On Fasting and Lasting Treasure

16 ‘When you fast, don’t be gloomy like the play-actors. They make their faces quite unrecognizable, so that everyone can see they’re fasting. I’m telling you the truth: they have received their reward in full. 17 No: when you fast, tidy your hair and beard the way you normally do, and wash your face, 18 so that others won’t notice you’re fasting – except your father, privately. Then your father, who sees in private, will repay you.

19 ‘Don’t store up treasure on earth. Moths and rust will eat it away, and robbers will break in and steal it. 20 No: store up for yourselves treasure in heaven! Moths and rust don’t eat it away there, and no robbers break in and steal it. 21 Show me your treasure, and I’ll show you where your heart is.

22 ‘The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is honest and clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is evil, your whole body is in the dark. So, if the light within you turns out to be darkness, darkness doesn’t come any darker than that.

24 ‘Nobody can serve two masters. Otherwise, they will either hate the first and love the second, or be devoted to the first and despise the second. You can’t serve both God and wealth.’

Do Not Worry

25 ‘So let me tell you: don’t worry about your life – what to eat, what to drink; don’t worry about your body – what to wear. There’s more to life than food! There’s more to the body than a suit of clothes! 26 Have a good look at the birds in the sky. They don’t plant seeds, they don’t bring in the harvest, they don’t store things in barns – and your father in heaven feeds them! Think how different you are from them! 27 Can any of you add fifteen inches to your height just by worrying about it?

28 ‘And why worry about what to wear? Take a tip from the lilies in the countryside. They don’t work; they don’t weave; 29 but, let me tell you, not even Solomon in all his finery was dressed as well as one of these. 30 So if God gives that sort of clothing even to the grass in the field, which is here today and on the bonfire tomorrow, isn’t he far more likely to clothe you too, you little-faith lot?

31 ‘So don’t worry away with your “What’ll we eat?” and “What’ll we drink?” and “What’ll we wear?” 32 Those are all the kinds of things the Gentiles fuss about, and your heavenly father knows you need them all. 33 Instead, make your top priority God’s kingdom and his way of life, and all these things will be given to you as well.

34 ‘So don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow can worry about itself. One day’s trouble at a time is quite enough.’

New Testament for Everyone (NTE)

Scripture quotations from The New Testament for Everyone are copyright © Nicholas Thomas Wright 2011.

Matthew 6 New International Version (NIV)

Giving to the Needy

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“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 others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Prayer

“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 others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But 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. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“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.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]
    but deliver us from the evil one.[b]

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Fasting

16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Treasures in Heaven

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[c] your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[d] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 “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.

Do Not Worry

25 “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? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 6:13 The Greek for temptation can also mean testing.
  2. Matthew 6:13 Or from evil; some late manuscripts one, / for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
  3. Matthew 6:22 The Greek for healthy here implies generous.
  4. Matthew 6:23 The Greek for unhealthy here implies stingy.
  5. Matthew 6:27 Or single cubit to your height
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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