The Gospel according to Matthew

6:1“Be careful that you don’t do good deeds just to impress people; if you do, you will not get any reward from your Father in the heavens.6:2So whenever you give to charity, don’t make a big show of it like those pendants,1 who do so in the synagogues and streets to be praised by the people. I can assure you that they’ve been paid in full!6:3Instead, do your giving discreetly;6:4keep it secret. Then your Father, who sees what you do in secret, will reward you.

6:5“And whenever you pray, don’t be like the pedants who love to pray standing in the synagogues and city squares so people can see them. I can assure you that they’ve been paid in full!6:6Instead, whenever you pray, go into your closet and lock the door so you can pray to your Father in secret. Then your Father, who sees what you do in secret, will reward you.

6:7“Also, don’t repeat the same prayers endlessly like the non-Judeans do, who think that all their words get them attention.6:8Don’t be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask.6:9Pray more like this:

‘Our Father in the heavens, may your name be revered!6:10May your kingdom appear; may your intentions be carried out on earth just as they are in heaven.6:11Give us what we need for the day,6:12and forgive our debts to you just as we forgive debts owed to us.6:13Please don’t put us to the test but get us safely away from the evil one.’

6:14“(If you forgive other people’s blunders, your Father in heaven will forgive your blunders;6:15and if you don’t, he won’t.)

6:16“Whenever you fast, don’t be like the pedants who go around with sad faces so people know they’re fasting. I can assure you that they’ve been paid in full!6:17But when you fast, put on a pleasant fragrance and wash your face6:18so people don’t know you’re fasting. And your Father, who sees what you do in secret, will reward you.

6:19“Don’t store up valuables here on earth, where moth and rust erode, and where thieves break in and steal.6:20Instead, store them in heaven where that can’t happen.6:21For your mind will be on what you value.

6:22“Your eye is the light of your body. So if your eye is innocent, your whole body will be filled with light.6:23But if your eye is evil, your whole body will be filled with darkness. So if the light in you is really darkness, what deep darkness it is!6:24And no one can serve two masters; they’d love one and hate the other, or despise one and support the other. You cannot serve both God and Wealth.

6:25“What I’m telling you is not to worry, whether it’s about where your food and drink will come from, or what you’ll cover your body with. Doesn’t your life mean much more than food, and your body much more than clothing?6:26Observe the birds of the sky: they don’t plant seeds, they don’t harvest, and they don’t put food in storage, yet your Father in heaven feeds them. Aren’t you worth far more than birds?6:27And which of you can prolong your life by worrying?

6:28“Why do you also worry about clothing? Study the wild flowers and how they grow; they don’t do any work or spin thread.6:29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his majesty was dressed as well as one of those flowers!6:30So if the grass of the field is here one day and thrown into an oven the next, won’t God clothe you all the more, you skeptics?

6:31“So then, stop worrying about what you’ll eat, what you’ll drink, or what you’ll wear.6:32The people of other nations are always looking for these things, but your Father in heaven knows you need them.6:33If you make the kingdom of God and his righteousness your priority, all these other things will be provided for you.6:34So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself; don’t borrow tomorrow’s problems today.

  1. 1The word rendered “pedant” throughout the NT refers to a strict legalist focused on the tiniest details, to the point of absurdity. It can also mean having a double standard.